Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greatest doctor's visit ever

Okay, it has been pointed out to me that I should give you all an update since I talked about a lump on my stomach in my last post. Turns out it's the beginning of a hernia, and it was brought on by all the heavy lifting I've been doing lately. I just need to keep an eye on it, and stop lifting heavy things. If it gets worse, then they'll do something about it, but it will most likely get better on its own. My back pain is probably due to my sedentary lifestyle, or stress. Either way, exercise is the answer. So I'm going to be going on walks every day, hopefully. I'll try, anyway.

On a side note, I brought in my blood panel results. Wait, wait. Let me back up. At Kate's work, they offered complimentary blood panels to employees and their spouses, so I got some free blood work done. I'm healthy in most areas. I could lose some weight, blah blah blah. Diet and exercise, blah blah blah. Here's a cool thing: There are two types of cholesterol. One is good, the other is bad. The bad one, obviously they want it low. Mine was quite low enough. The good cholesterol they want it measured between 40 and 60. I don't know what the units are or what they relate to, I just know that mine was 20. Much too low. The doctor (I'm assuming) at the blood panel suggested fish oil and grape seed oil and diet and exercise. Okay. The doctor I saw a couple of days ago about my "hernia," suggested I also try having a small glass of red wine with dinner every night.

That's what I call the jackpot.

To top off the day, the final present I ordered for Kate online came in the mail as well as a book I ordered for myself. It was the greatest Monday in history.

While I was at the doctor's office, my friend Kevin watched Aislin. Now, when I'm caring for her and Kate comes home, Aislin bursts into tears because she's just so happy to see Mommy she needs to be in her arms right now. Well. When I came home from the doctor's office and Aislin saw me, she burst into tears. It was neat being on the other side of that phenomenon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This has nothing to do with this post -- I went to the dentist today

I'm somewhat at a loss.

Aislin has done some amazing things recently. She's crawled a little bit, even. When she went in for her second flu shot, she didn't even cry. She's been fairly amiable and cheerful, but never so much that it gets old. She loves fake coughing. She's discovered a fondness for dolls, and ever since has been getting a new doll every week. There's so much.

Last weekend, we finally had our house-warming party. We found out that our apartment living room is not as well-suited to entertaining large numbers of guests like our old one. With everyone there, it felt a little cramped. Still, we had a good time. My friend Eric pointed out, during one of the many interludes during which Aislin took center stage, that watching her try to crawl was incredibly suspenseful. It sounds ridiculous, but it's totally true. She kneels there in a crawling position and rocks back and forth until she falls over. Each time, you think "Oh, this is it! She's going to do it! Maybe this time she'll finally do it!"

One afternoon, she was playing with her green ball -- it's actually MY green ball: it's a ninja turtles ball from when I was a child -- and it rolled out of her reach. She adjusted herself into her crawling position and reached out for it. She touched it just enough to push it just a little further out of reach. So she moved her knees and reached out for it again. This process repeated a few times and I knew what I was seeing, though I don't think she knew what she was doing. She hasn't really done it since.

Our good friends Joel and Heather are moving to Pasadena even as I'm typing this. There was a going away party which included a white elephant gift exchange. At this party, during one of the break-off-into-small-groups-and-chat segments, Aislin looked up at Joel from her mother's arms and waved and said, "hi." Joel's eyes reportedly popped out of his head. I'm not sure why I didn't see it; I must have been thinking about something else.

Like this lump on my belly. A few nights ago, I discovered I have a lump on my belly. It's not sensitive, and I'm seeing the doctor on Monday, but still -- disconcerting. Lumps aren't good. A lump of coal is good. A lump of flesh is not good. Read Merchant of Venice if you don't believe me.

I have all of these ideas and ambitions. I have ideas for stories and ambitions to blog more often and write more and transcribe more and be a more profitable member of the family. But Aislin wears me out. The only time I really have to write is after everyone else goes to bed. And why aren't I in bed? That's what I want to know. I'm exhausted.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Aislin's growing up, but I'm the one in growing pains.

All right. Aislin's been doing some growing.

We've concluded that she's going to be tall. She's already tall for her age. Her pants are for a 12 month, and they're just barely long enough. But the waistline is too big, so she looks like she's thugging it.

She's super active all the time. Actually, she's napping right now. But most of the time, she's super active. She's always been looking around, but now she's unhappy staying still for too long. She gets bored. This would be an easy problem for her to solve if she just learned to crawl. The other night, it seemed like she was crawling backwards. So, that was funny. Later, she came very close to crawling in earnest, but didn't completely take off. Kate and I agree: She'll be crawling by Christmas.

She's been exploring her vocal abilities, too. She'll say "bah bah bah" and sometimes she'll say "hi." She waves at people. Yesterday, when Kate and I were driving home from Lebanon, she made a noise that sounded vaguely like "I love you," so Kate and I said in unison "I love you too." Pretty sure she didn't actually say it, but it was still cute, funny, and exciting.

Remember way on back when she had the habit of urinating when we took her diaper off? Well, she was over it for a while, but she seems to have picked it back up. I really preferred it when she wouldn't do that. Ah well. Soon she'll be crawling and her excrement will be everywhere. And all our stuff. More so than it already is. ~shudder~

We finally have the living room in a state in which we are comfortable entertaining guests. Until now, it's been pretty messy. Now, we've moved the mess into the study and the bedroom, so we just need to focus our energies in those two rooms and we'll be golden.

There's still quite a bit of work to do.

On that note, my friend Luke tells me he's going to Haiti for nine months. Okay. That means, he's got until Thursday to complete his finals, pack up his apartment, and leave. On the one hand, I'm kind of mad that so many of my friends are moving out of reach. Luke's going to Haiti. Joel and Heather are moving to Pasadena. Ted has a full-time job so he's pretty much only available to hang out on the weekend, like a normal person. At least Kevin's back. That pretty much makes up for it. But back to Luke. On the one hand, I'm mad. On the other hand, he is somewhat concerned about uprooting his life for the past, what, year? In less than a week? But he's able to do it. His furnishings are spartan enough to accommodate that. I wouldn't have a prayer. I need a four-bedroom house for all the junk Kate and I have accumulated. And if things keep progressing along the path they have been for the past three years, I'll never have one. I'll live with junk in plastic boxes stacked in the middle of the floor forever.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rice Krispies

I guess I'll do an update before I get back to work. I've been transcribing a lot. My goal is to earn $1,000 each month, and to do that I only need to type 25 pages each weekday. It's not a problem as long as I stay on top of it. I fell behind, and I've been struggling to catch up ever since. I'm very close now though, so I'm feeling good about it.

Two days ago, Aislin had her six-month doctor's visit. Some of you may be thinking, "I thought she was older than six months." Well, you're right. And thanks for paying attention. You have something on your nose. :) She's actually seven months old, but I was about a month late in scheduling her four month appointment, and these two visits include several shots so they have to be adequately spaced apart for medical reasons I don't quite follow but it sounds believable enough so I just go with it. This time, Kate was able to come. It was really great to have her there. For some reason, and I can't figure this out, Aislin doesn't like getting shots. I don't know. But with Kate there, she just started nursing as soon as the shots were over, and Aislin calmed down and went to sleep. She provided much more comfort than I was ever able to on my own. At her last visit, I just had to carry her out crying. The contrast between the looks I got then and the looks we got now isn't as stark as you would think.

Lately, she's been having a hard time sleeping through the night. We asked the doctor about that, and she recommended rice cereal. When we were going to go to the store and pick some up, I asked Kate if Rice Krispies would do it. Sadly, I was totally serious. Kate laughed until she cried and said if I bought Rice Krispies, I would never live it down. She would make fun of me for the rest of my life. Turns out there's "Rice Cereal" next to baby formula and baby food down the baby aisle. Yeah, because I frequent the baby aisle so often. How was I to know Rice Krispies aren't the proper rice cereal? Doesn't every kid love snap, crackle, pop?

Anyway. We got the cereal, and Aislin loves it. We were totally lucky there. She eats it and eats it. And then, and this is the greatest part: She sleeps. She sleeps for hours on end. She still wakes up, but it's not every hour like it was. We're so grateful to you, rice cereal. Even if you don't snap, crackle, and pop.

Apart from transcribing, I've been trying to play a game Ted loaned me called Red Dead Redemption. It's set in the wild west. It's a fun game and everything, but between the baby and transcribing, I don't really have time. Any time I do have is spent trying to organize the new apartment some more. The study looks a lot better. I'm surrounded by books, and they're organized. It's great. Behind me, there's still a bunch of boxes full of stuff, but the room is much more navigable. It'll be great when it's done.

Speaking of done, I finished the book I was reading, High Fidelity. Yeah, just like the movie with Jack Black and John Cusack. It had a lot of things in common with Rabbit Run, which I detested, but I enjoyed this one. I think that's because, despite himself, the main character is easier to relate to. It seems to be a trend, though, in literature. The protagonist who is a child disguised as a man, or rather, the man who still feels and behaves like a child but has grown-up responsibilities and sometimes aspirations. These are the two camps I've found: The man-child (High Fidelity, Rabbit Run, Choke), and The libido's last gasp (Everyman, Toward the End of Time). There are probably more in-between, but I haven't read any recently.

I'm a little surprised Luke isn't online right now. He's got a radio show on KPSU that's really good, and he's normally chatting while he's playing music, but not today. I have to tell him Red Horse is closing. It's totally lame.

Okay. Well, until next time. Check out the movie trailers for Cowboys and Aliens and Green Lantern. I think they're pretty great.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Moved! The baby -- she has grown

Yes it has been a while. I have plenty of good reasons for this, and also plenty of new items in the meantime. Let's get started.

We successfully moved. We're very happy and excited about it, and our new place has many advantages over our old one. It's much bigger and has much more storage, has a larger dining room, and the parking lot is never full. It's also a townhouse-style apartment, so it's two levels. There's no one above or below us, only on either side. The walls seem thicker, too.

On the other hand, there's no dishwasher, there are no bodies above and below us to help keep the apartment warm, and we suspect our next-door neighbor is a ward of the State. He's kind of creepy. Ted and I thought he was homeless and scoping the place out when we first saw him. He's kept to himself, though; I'm not worried about him.

Aislin can now sit on her own, though she needs help getting into a sitting position. She doesn't crawl, although she desperately wants to. She'll lay on her stomach and come so close and then get frustrated she's not moving anywhere. On her back, she'll push with her feet and scoot. When we put her on her stomach now for tummy time, she just rolls over and scoots around instead of crawling. She's amazingly ticklish and laughs when Kate or I tickle her. She not only sticks out her tongue and gives Bronx cheers, she also makes a hissing-like noise while she's smiling that often leads into laughter. It's like that noise we make when we sort-of laugh at something. You'd recognize it if you heard it. She screams. She coos. She takes glasses of your face and ties to suck on them.

She's also been eating some solid food. Kate's fed her peas, and they make her diapers a disaster area.

I should get back to work. I've got a transcription that needs to get done, so I need to get after it. Now that my computer is set up (with a swanky new desk to boot) I should be able to make posts more regularly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Water and Solids

And we just started her on solid foods. She seems to enjoy drinking water.

Anniversaries, Airplanes, and Aislin awash with relatives

Happy anniversary to me! Three years ago, I got married. Ever since I've felt a little closer to being an actual grown-up. Still not there yet, but getting ever closer.

All kinds of news. First of all, the reason I've been lacking in the posts lately is because Kate and I spent ten glorious days in Canada with her family. They had to meet this baby, you know. We were excited about it because it would be the first time Aislin would travel by airplane. The trip up went very well; any time we took off or landed, Kate nursed to keep Aislin distracted. The sucking action kept her ears acclimating to the altitude changes and the flights were very pleasant. The hardest part was the "indefinite delay" in the Seattle airport, but it didn't turn out to be very long.

After we landed, Kate's uncle Eric and his daughter Erica (who was a flower girl three years ago today) picked us up in Edmonton. We had about a two-hour drive ahead of us. They brought a car seat for Aislin so we wouldn't have to pack ours. She cried the entire car trip. Nursing didn't help. We didn't see Eric and Erica again. We later figured out it was the scent of the car seat, and a cycle through the washer without soap fixed the problem.

Aislin smiled at all her extended family. Her great grandfather Bob held her that first night, and Aislin tolerated it for a while. He said to me he remembered holding Kate's mom when she was that small. She loved Kate's uncles, especially. She'd smile at them and pinch their faces. Toward the end of our stay, she started daily explorations of her vocal range. It was unpleasant for Kate's grandparents -- at for Kate too -- but I secretly enjoyed it.

The trip consisted of Kate's aunts, uncles, and cousins stopping by to meet her and far more missed than captured Kodak moments. I finished 1984, read Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and Toward the End of Time by John Updike. I always get my best reading done up there. I liked Hornby's book even though I know nothing about English football. It was an autobiographical account of his lifelong love/hate relationship/obsession with Arsenal. I could somewhat resonate with his experiences being somewhat of a Beaver fan, but I really enjoyed his narrative voice so I checked out High Fidelity and Juliet Naked when I got back. Updike's novel was much more cerebral and scandalous. It was basically about a retiree in a future Boston after a nuclear war between the States and China who is totally selfish and horny. Everything makes him think about fornication, so most of the time I was reading with a grimace on my face. But when it wasn't gross it was intelligent and lyrical. As I'm writing about it, I'm comparing it to Everyman by Philip Roth, which also featured a protagonist dealing with the libido's last gasp. Roth's book is much more accessible than Updike's, but not as beautifully-written. At least Roth's had a complete ending (he dies). Updike's character is left languishing before the inevitable that comes after the book ends, leaving him indefinitely waiting. I think it's Updike's last novel, and he incorporated poetry into the prose beautifully. Reading a novel by Updike is like reading poetry by Eliot: you're practically fooling yourself.

The airplane trips back to Oregon were not nearly as pleasant. Aislin slept the entire car ride over, but then screamed during almost the entirety of the flights. She wouldn't nurse, and had a diaper explosion right away. The trouble was, both flights were go-up, go-down; the seatbelt light didn't seem to ever go out. Our layover was so short they had a cart waiting to dash us across the airport to customs, which turned out to only be about 2/3 of the way to the gate. And then it turned out the very kind lady in the Edmonton Airport didn't include a boarding pass for Aislin, so they almost sent us back to get one. If we had been in the States I bet they would have, but since they were wonderfully kind Canadians they got it for us. We made our flight just barely. They had waited for us. By the time we drove in to our apartment parking lot (at 12:30 in the morning), we were exhausted and sighed for relief. It was a great trip, but we were glad to be home.


We found a new apartment! Remember, they raised our rent here? Like, out of our budget? Well, we found a new apartment that is much bigger than our current one, and is less per-month than even before they raised it here! AND they'll allow a piano. The only downside is no dishwasher, but with so many advantages it's easy to overlook that. I should be getting the key today. So exciting.

Also, don't tell Kate, but Mom and Dad have agreed to bravely watch Aislin tonight so I can take her out to dinner for our anniversary. I should go, actually, because I need to get flowers and a card.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Yesterday, Aislin was such a wonderful baby. She was very pleasant and only cried a few times. When she did cry, she had very discernible concerns that I was able to meet. She took some naps, but even when she was awake, she just cooed when I couldn't play with her. It was a very nice day, considering she's teething.

Lately, she's been more difficult. She now has a tooth on her lower jaw, so that's super exciting. That excitement is countered by her mood. She's been very difficult. That seems to have passed for the moment, though.

Last night, she slept very well. The night before that, she slept even better. The night before that, she didn't sleep at all. It's a much better situation now.

We've been trying to prepare for our trip to Canada this Saturday to visit Kate's grandparents. This is our first time traveling with our baby; all of our previous journeys with babies have been both generally unpleasant and concerning babies that aren't ours. They were either crying or kicking our seat. Aislin won't be like that though. Not if she keeps up this pleasantness.

Yesterday, she was so pleasant I even got some transcribing done. Peggy sent me a file on an e-mail, and I downloaded it to my computer desktop and started working on it. I was about 40 pages in when I decided to move the file into the proper folder. When I opened the file again to make sure it moved okay, it was blank. I freaked out. After a few phone calls and about an hour of panic, I finally found a back up file that had most of my work on it. So I think we're good now, but it was scary. And frustrating. I'd never had anything like this happen.

Lately Kate and I have found the joy that is Modern Family. Yeah, it's been around for a year now, but we just found it. It's funny stuff. Didn't know.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The horizon isn't as far as you think

I haven't written in a long time. There are a couple of reasons. I've been busy in body and mind.

It seems like as soon as Aislin develops a recognizable pattern, she breaks it. Lately, she's been sleeping through the night (mostly), she takes a short morning nap, a short afternoon nap, normally eats around 9:00 AM, about half an hour after Kate goes back to work after lunch, and then again around 3:00. Around 5:30 she gets hungry again, but Kate's almost home so I just try to distract her.

Aislin rolls with relative ease now. She'll be lying on her back and roll onto her side, then she'll be on her belly. The way she moves, it's as if she knows how to crawl already -- she's just not strong enough yet to do it. She lifts her head as high as she can, kicks a little -- trying to find purchase, and sometimes she moves a little. So far, she's kept at it for a few minutes and then screamed in frustration. She's also chewing her toes a lot. She's been doing that for a while. She doesn't laugh reliably. She's giggled, and now both Kate and I have made her make a laugh-like sound, but most of the time she just coos with a big smile on her face when she should be laughing.

Over the weekend, Kate and I looked at our finances. Always a depressing activity. Still, I paid off a loan completely that I'd been working on for a few years. That was nice. Also, over the weekend it was Talk Like a Pirate day, so the Monkey Island games were super cheap. The classic ones are normally $10, but they were on sale for $5. The newer ones are normally $35, but they were also on sale for $5. This is a big deal because Kate loves adventure games that test your wit and puzzle-solving capabilities over your reflexes, like King's Quest, and these games are totally in that ilk. So I bought 'em. She's been enjoying them.

I've been trying to find a new place for us to live, but as the last person I called said to me, "this is the absolute worst time to try to find a place." I'm pretty furious with our owner. I'm not angry with our property management group at all; they've been super friendly and sympathetic. The person who owns our building, though... He has our building painted and raises our monthly rent $150. That's expensive paint. Comparatively speaking, I'm sure we still have it pretty cheap compared to what some are paying, but it's far out of our budget for us. Whatever. We'll just move and it'll be fine. Still, it would have been nice to have our rent raised at some time when there are actually apartments available in Corvallis. A lot of things would have been nice.

I think it says a lot when the highlight of my week was doing laundry with Ted.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Misadventures and Baby Laughter

Just sort of catching up. There are a few things that I need to tell all of you, I guess, but nothing really ground-breaking. Well maybe. I don't know. Enough stalling. Here goes.

Aislin has made a few landmarks lately. First off, she's sucking her toes. More often than not, she'll grab her foot but get distracted before it gets to her mouth. Sometimes though, she'll start sucking away. It's pretty cute -- except when her feet are grubby and stinky. Then it's kind of gross. Still, it's a developmental landmark.

The other day, I was changing Aislin's clothes and I started tickling her. One great thing about having a beard is that babies find it really ticklish. So I was tickling her belly and she totally laughed. It was short-lived, but I totally heard it. I stand by it, even after I've showed Kate and she says she's heard her do that before and it doesn't really count. She laughed. And it was because of me. Booyah.

On the working front, transcribing work is pouring in. So that's good. Also, I got a call last week from a guy who needed someone to type up his letters. He didn't have access to a computer, and he was writing a letter to a judge so he needed it to look as professional as possible. He lived a ways away, but it was work. I drove out there and picked up his letters. I began to think it wasn't such a great idea. First of all, his place was a mess. I'm uncomfortable around new people anyway, but this guy kind of scared me. The letter was easy enough to type though, so I did it up and got it back to him. I undercharged him, but I was okay with it as long as we parted ways. Then this past week, he called me again and expressed how happy he was with my work, and wanted to employ me again. It was work, so I agreed. We also agreed that I needed to be charged more. This time, he was working at a friend's place doing yard work for $5 an hour. First, I went to the wrong house and walked up the front walk. There was a dead decomposing mouse on the walk that yellow jackets were feasting on, and it creeped me out. Turns out it was the wrong house, but it's an appropriate metaphor. I met the guy's friend, and he called himself "the sane one." Yeah, ominous right? To be "the sane one" implies there's someone around who's insane. Well. I got these letters from my employer and typed them up. They scared me. It was as if they were written for another part of himself. They were a stream of consciousness that bounced off the loose screws. When I got these pages back to him, I told him I was falling behind on my transcribing so I couldn't do this anymore. He took it well, I think. We shook hands, and then he said "I guess I'll just have to rip down all your signs on campus, then." I laughed, shrugged, got in my car and drove the heck away. He paid me, but it was then that I remembered a policy regarding my freelance editing: if they can't e-mail it to me, we can't do business.

It's sad how this blog is supposed to be all about my time with daughter, but on posts like this I breeze right over her and talk about my misadventures with crazy people. As soon as Aislin does things as convoluted and involved as a crazy person, I'll tell you all about it. I promise.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Post Labor Day Sale!

Happy Labor Day (belated) everyone! I hope everyone had a good three-day weekend.

As is common with most vacations, I didn't get as much done as I wanted. My dad had been wanting to work on the dog run all summer, and he and I punched it out this weekend. In years past, the rainy season (Fall-Spring) would wreak havoc on it, and Sage would have to jump over huge puddles to get into her house. Not so anymore. We hope. Now, there's a drainage pipe beneath a foundation of treated 4 x 4s and paving stones. It looks much nicer. The hardest part, in my opinion, was getting the stinking thing level. After struggling with it, I admitted to Dad that it probably didn't have to be TOTALLY level -- I mean, she's a good dog and all, but... Anyway, it's done now.

For Labor Day, our friends Julia and Sam came over for breakfast and ended up staying for a late lunch. It was great hanging out with them. Also, Kate and I had learned that Dutch Bros was having a special: $1 for any drink any size. So they brought us coffee, too. They also brought their son, Colin. Previously, Colin and Aislin didn't get along as well as we had hoped. Colin thought Aislin was the bees knees, but Aislin wasn't impressed. This time, they got along swimmingly. There were pictures taken.

I've been doing some transcribing, and I recently got another editing job, so our financial situation is totally looking up. Also, I've found some apartments and some duplexes for rent, so we might be able to move before they raise our current payments. So encouragement abounds. Oh nuts. I forgot to go to Bi-mart for Lucky Number Tuesday. Well, it's not too late. I better be off. First I'll see about uploading some pictures.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Update

Not long ago, we picked up some new shirts for Aislin at a Target in Eugene on our way to the Lane County Fair. These shirts were pretty cool. One had the AC/DC logo on it and the phrase "For those about to rock." The other was a dark pink with a little bird singing the alphabet. We liked that one because it was literary. Last night, Kate and I were looking at our daughter in the latter shirt, and we realized that apparently, birds can't sing the letter "O." The letter "O" was missing. We couldn't believe it. So much for literary.

We got a notice last week that our landlord is going to raise our rent substantially. He's going to raise it so much it's no longer in our budget to live here, so we need to have a new place by October 1. Stressful? Oh yes. Also pretty exciting. I'd been craving a little adventure and this is just the thing. I'm not despairing because Kate just got a huge raise and I'm beginning the transcribing thing, so financially things are looking up. Otherwise, this could be the recipe for the perfect storm.

This weekend Kate and I, along with her parents, went to a barbecue at a house her aunts and grandmother bought recently. A lot of Kate's family was there, including her cousin's three year old daughter who did not appreciate the competition Aislin provided. While Kate finished eating, I took Aislin for walks around their house in the yard. I thought about how much I wanted a yard so things like this could happen on a more regular basis. She should have the opportunity to play outside and use her imagination, not be drawn to the tv like so many of her peers. She's already drawn to the tv. On Friday, we went to McMenamins and the primary thing she was interested in was the tv over our shoulders.

She's learning a bunch of developmental stuff too. She hasn't laughed yet, but she's rolling over onto her stomach on her own, and she grabs her feet. Once, she managed to get her toes into her mouth, but it hasn't happened since. She's really upset right now, so I'm going to cut this blog entry off here. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A rant

So I've started transcribing a little bit, and it's kind of rocky. It requires getting used to a new program, and I'm not yet. It's kind of frustrating. But I'll get used to it. The REALLY frustrating part, is that my anti-virus program freaks out every time I start it up. It randomly deletes drivers that I need in order to run the program, it blocks hardware from working properly, and is generally overly aggressive. On top of that, Windows just tried to install an update that looked pertinent to this program and couldn't do it for some reason. I tried all of the Microsoft-suggested solutions, but they all involved my credit card number. Forget it. I tried restarting, and now NOTHING IS WORKING. Luckily, Aislin is sleeping. But she wasn't earlier. I was so frustrated at my computer, meanwhile my baby is crying like a banshee. Then the phone rings. It feels like Monday struck a day too late.

Earlier this morning, Aislin was being totally cute. She was talking and having a great time. Kate fed her and we had a lovely breakfast together. Half an hour after Kate fed her, Aislin thinks it's time to eat again. I'm thinking, yeah right. You just ate. Nope. She's hungry again. She downs something like four ounces and goes to sleep.

Just, since I'm ranting a little, look at this: last night I rented disc five of the fifth season of Lost. It has ONE EPISODE on it. ONE!!!! It reminded me of the first season of Heroes, because the last disc in that series also had only one episode on it, BUT it was rented out alongside the previous disc!! Because back then, they knew that renting a disc of a tv show with only ONE EPISODE on it was a rip off. Now, in the days of Netflix, Blockbuster isn't as generous. Also, check this out: why oh why does there need to be five discs anyway? The discs hold four episodes, and disc one only had three! AND all the blu-ray companies are all like "bleh, it holds so much more data, bleh." Well then, tell me why there are the exact same number of blu-ray discs as DVDs. Because the more merchandise there is, the greater the likelihood that one will break, thus forcing the buyer to replace it later. Ugh. Generally, I'm in favor of Capitalism. But heartless Capitalism that takes advantage of a consumer like that... when I'm mad, it only makes me madder. But most of the time I don't really care.

FYI: Tech support just called on my computer. Try plugging it into a different USB port, they say. I do, and it works fine. Everything is better. Back to work for me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grumpiness and Income from Daddy! FINALLY

Aislin's four-month birthday was on Saturday. She must have begun her fourth-month growth spurt, because lately she's been more fussy than usual. We used to be able to take her wherever we wanted and she would do just fine. She'd patiently let strangers hold her and she'd fall asleep all the time... she was pretty much the ideal baby. Now, though, she's developed some preferences. She definitely prefers Mom and Dad, and anyone else holding her is going to have an unhappy baby before long. This has been... upsetting? Difficult? A change for Grandma and Grandpa. My parents used to be able to take her whenever and she'd just go to sleep or be content while Grandma rocked her. Now, not so much. It's Mom, Dad, or nothing doing. On Saturday (her four month birthday, remember?) we went and saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and left her with my Mom and Dad. Evidently, she cried the entire time we were gone. By the time we got back, Dad was ready for a nap from walking her all over. Sometimes the only thing she wants is to be vertical and moving around. She doesn't even like being rocked like a normal baby. It's too boring or stagnant or something. She has to MOVE.

Today, she was grumpy. On top of her new preferences, she was grumpy. The only thing she wanted was to be moving or eating. Anything else would not fly. Normally she takes a mid-morning nap and an afternoon nap. Well, the mid-morning nap lasted for about 15 minutes and then the crying began. I couldn't get hardly anything done. It was pretty frustrating for me; I just wanted her to be her cheerful self -- or at least give her what she needed. Sometimes, I can put her on our bed and she'll squeal and pull my beard and tell me all kinds of things, but today all she wanted was to eat and move. No naps. No sitting. No playing. Food.

On the employment front, remember those fliers Ted, Nick, and I made and posted around campus? Well, they were advertising my editing skills. Someone hired me. Yeah! Someone needed a history paper looked over by midnight Friday and I took the job. He left a message on my phone, and at first I thought he said 200 pages. I gulped and wasn't sure if I could get that many pages edited by midnight, but he said it was only 200 words. Oh man. I could do that in half an hour. It was more like 2000 words, because it was five pages. Anyway, I said I could just look for grammar and that would be one dollar per page, or I could go through it with a fine-tooth comb and that would be 2.50 per page. He said he'd pay me 20 bucks to get it as good as possible. Booyah. Done and done. It was a success, and when he paid me on Saturday he said he'd recommend me to anyone. His girlfriend was a writer and she was impressed with my comments and he said she may need an editor in her future sometime. At least, I assume it was his girlfriend. It was a girl, who appeared to be something like a friend. It was a success. All around. 20 bucks! After an entire year, I bring in some money again! A tiny victory -- a minute, microscopic one even -- but a victory nonetheless! Kate and I were so excited we made business cards for me. They look great.

It's late now, so I'm off to bed. One thing about Aislin acting up all day is that she normally sleeps more at night. So that's good. I'm looking at the good side of things right now. She's still enormously cute. She steals every party we go to.

Oh! Really fast. We had dinner with a friend of mine from high school, Julia, and her husband Sam, and their six-month-old son Colin. It was the first time either Colin or Aislin had seen another baby, so we held them up to each other. Colin thought she was just the greatest thing. His eyes got wide and he started bouncing and reaching out to touch her and talking to her... Aislin on the other hand, was not so sure. She looked at him and let him touch her, but she didn't bounce or coo like he did. She just turned shyly back to Mommy. I told her guys like a little reciprocity, but I understood. Hopefully she didn't inherit my prohibitively shy nature. It was kind of sad; Colin was only six months old, and he had already faced his first rejection. We thought it was funny though. By the time we were leaving, we held them up to each other one last time and they both began to cry. Kate and I promised Colin we'd talk him up when we got home. Maybe that's why Aislin's been so grumpy lately...

Monday, August 2, 2010


Recently Aislin has begun to try to talk. I've heard "good," "poop," "me," "milk," and "mom." The last one means the most to me. Mom? What about Dad? She hasn't really made the Aah vowel sound yet, except in "waaaah," so I'm still waiting for her to say "Dad." Of course, I believe all of this is Kate and I assigning words and meaning to sounds she's making. She's not quite four months old. It's a little early to be talking.

Over the weekend, she was a trooper. We went to a party on Saturday and she was as peaceful as could be. She let us know when it was time to go home, but until then she put up with everything. On Sunday we had an early morning breakfast with my best friend who's in town for only four days, and then we went down to Eugene. Once again, she was tolerant of the whole thing until she wasn't. Which was a good long time. What a great baby.

Lately she's had bouts of inconsolable. Have I talked about this? Probably, but what it means is she's recognizing a new need she has and we, her parents, have no idea what it is. Sometimes she's hungry, sometimes she needs a new diaper, sometimes she's just tired. Normally when Kate's here, the golden ticket is nursing. That calms her down no matter what. A few times now she's wanted something else and we don't know what it is. We still don't.

The apartment is a mess and I've been trying to get it cleaned up, but Aislin doesn't seem to want that to happen. She insists she needs to be fed or changed or held all the time. By the time I convince her to take her mid-morning nap, I'm tired myself. The apartment stays squalid. I didn't even get my cup of coffee today until almost 11:00. All I had to do was pour it. On the one hand, it's good. I don't have to justify to myself or anyone else not having a job. If I spend all my time trying to take care of the baby as best I can and I can't even get a cup of coffee from a pot that's already made, or I can't keep the apartment in a livable condition, how can I possibly have a job? I would like to someday go to graduate school, but if this keeps up there's no way in heaven or on earth. It's a paradox. It's confining, but also liberating. I'm confined to this apartment, but liberated from outside responsibility. For now. Eventually everything changes. I'm content to wait.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming, smiles, soothing, and...styles? Something.

Sorry it's been a while my loyal readers. Some things have been happening, and a lot of things have been not happening. For instance, I've been NOT getting teaching jobs; the consistency is comforting I suppose. Today I got a letter in the mail from a school district I applied to a while back, and it turned out to be for an elementary teacher position. I'm not an elementary school teacher, so that worked out pretty well. It has gotten to the point where I'm not sure I want to be a teacher. Don't worry. I'm not giving up on any dreams. In fact, now that I think about it, I've already blogged about this. Anyway. That's what's NOT happening. What has been happening is this: video games. Oh, I'm afraid so. There's been a couple great games called Braid and Shadow Complex on Xbox Live, and they are both fantastic. Braid is a puzzle game that deals with time and stuff and it's got this AMAZING ending. I loved it. Shadow Complex is like Metroid only different. It's really cool too. Kate and I have been watching Heroes and decided that season 4 was very good and it is too bad the show was canceled. Season 5 was going to be the last season anyway. Shame. A darn shame. I've also been reading 1984 a little bit, and the jury's still out. I think I'm enjoying it, but I also think there are things going on that I'm missing. It's hard when you're reading these books on your own and don't have a professor to tell you what you're looking for.

Yesterday we took her in to the doctor's office because we noticed one of her pupils dilates differently than the other one and it wigged us out. Turns out, this is actually somewhat common. The doctor said he'd seen in a couple hundred times and it has never been anything to worry about. He suspected it was actually much more common, but parents don't notice. So kudos to us for being attentive parents. We may take her to an ophthalmologist, but only if it's free. If it's nothing to worry about, then we can afford to not spend money we don't have anyway. While we were there, the nurse said she was ahead of the development curve because she would turn her head to look at things. It's always nice to hear your baby's advanced. That must be why TAG parents are such jerks. Generally. Like when you taste something delicious that's also super healthy, you want to eat it all the time -- any time you are inhibited from eating it you throw a fit. It's evolution. Anyway, the nurse noticed Aislin would turn her head to look at things rather than simply tracking with her eyes. That's advanced for a three month old. She gets it from her mother.

Lately she's been kind of fussy. Well, it alternates. We just went to a wedding in Portland and she was a pleasure through the ceremony and the reception. She was also wonderful at the doctor's office. She would smile at strangers and be perfectly happy to let strange family members hold her. But then the past few days she's been inconsolable. Kate thinks it may be due to the chocolate she's been eating, but that's no excuse to stop eating chocolate. But it's the best one I've heard yet. "Don't eat chocolate: it makes babies cranky and therefore Father's life much harder than it needs to be." Whatever.

While we were at this hotel, we took her into the swimming pool for the first time. We're pretty sure she loved it. At first she was apprehensive, but soon she was smiling and having a good time. We took her out when she started to shiver, and then when the cold set in (you know, the cold you get after swimming when you're all wet and it can be 100 degrees Fahrenheit and still be cold) she started to cry. Mom got this great picture of her smiling in the pool. She had this cute pink bathing suit. It was adorable.

She spends more of her time awake now. That's ok as long as she wants to be awake. Sometimes, she just wants to be asleep. Fortunately for me, she's found her thumb at long last. She self-soothes a little when she's fussy and wants to sleep. Today she even fell asleep in the high chair. It's pretty funny because she doesn't have a sibling to show her how to suck her thumb and no one else around but me, really, and I sure don't suck my thumb, so she doesn't make a fist. She just sticks her thumb in there and the rest of her fingers come too close to poking out her eye. Nah, it's not that perilous. I support this thumb-sucking. For now, at least.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

When panic strikes

So I have to relay this adventure I just had really quick.

I was just helping my friend Stu move to a new apartment. Kate was at work so I had Aislin with me. As we were taking things down the first floor hall to his door, his phone started beeping so he turned it off. We made several trips down to the car and back to his room, and then went to his old place for a second load.

When all we had left was his television, Aislin woke up and was hungry. Stu volunteered to get the t.v. himself, and I asked if he could bring the diaper bag back with him. He hurried off, and I got to work trying to appease the suddenly angry baby. When Stu returned, he had forgotten the diaper bag. He gave me the keys and I left the baby with him.

I ran down the hall and out the door. Then I realized I would need a key to get back in. I tried calling Stu, but his phone was off.

I got to the car, pulled out the diaper bag, and ran around the building to the back. These apartments all had mini decks in the back that looked over the railroad tracks. I found the right one and tried calling to Stu, but he couldn't hear me over the bloody murder. I gently tossed the bag over the railing, climbed over, and knocked on the door.

Now all three of us were frantic. I pulled out Aislin's bottle and filled it. As I shook the bottle to mix the formula, milk leaked all over the sink. The lid holding the rubber nipple had cracked, and milk was leaking profusely. I tried using it anyway, but formula poured all over Aislin's face. She screamed so loud. Stu asked if she was a child or a banshee. I said she was a little of both as I strapped her into her car seat. She stopped crying on the drive home.

Anyway, it was a pretty wild adventure in the life of Steve McClain. More to come.

Teething and other bleak subjects tainted with optimism

Recently, Aislin has been very active. She's been active just about all day for the past couple days, and by "active" I mean she's been fussy. In the past, I've been able to put her down and she goes to sleep. She would only wake up when she was hungry. Now she seems to be hungry all the time. She's sucking on her hands almost all the time, and sometimes she wakes up suddenly and screams as though she's in pain.

Almost as if she's teething.

This is odd: babies normally don't teethe at almost three months. Normally, they teethe more around six months I think. Kate started teething around four months, so if Aislin's early it runs in the family. And if she's old for her age, that runs in the family too -- on my side.

She's been a lot of fun though. She's looking around and smiling a lot more. She recognizes Kate and me and some of our friends. She really seems to like Ted. Whenever I pick her up and walk around she's looking at the stuff as it passes by. She's so smart. It's awesome.

Today I played my guitar for her a little bit while her bottle was warming in the sink. She was hungry so she occasionally burst into tears, but other than that she seemed to enjoy it. I hope the tears were because she was hungry and not a comment on my playing. Of course not.

So she's been active for the past couple days. This morning after Kate went to work, she did her morning fuss which meant it was time to get up and get a bottle going. I put her in the swing to calm her while her bottle warmed, and by the time I was ready to feed her she was back asleep. She slept until lunch. I thought she might be under slept due to the number of naps she has skipped. It's possible I guess.

Now on to other news: I've applied to 12 jobs on EdZapp and only two remain open. Both of the open jobs are part-time. The drama teacher at CV is 0.17, which is like, 1/8th time. The long and short of it is this: I need to find something else. Teaching is not working out. And now more budget cuts for education are announced, so I'm out of luck. I could work for Safeway or something, but the thing is this: I'd rather write. I feel like if I worked at some entry-level job I would have gone to college for nothing. Even if it's temporary. I'd like to put my degrees to work; I just haven't figured out how. So if you see an ad on my blog, click on it -- it might bring me some revenue.

I've also started another blog called "It Might Not Suck" which will be all about movies. It's my movie criticism blog. I haven't written anything in it yet, but I've got some ideas. Feel free to share yours once I get it running. I've also got some stuff to post on The Coterie Blog, but I'll revise it a little first. I'd love for one of these to get noticed by someone who would be willing to pay me to write. Anyway, that's all for now. The baby's fussing so I better feed her some more. She just snorted. That was cute. She's really cute all the time -- even when she's angry.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baby screams and not much else

Oooooh, the baby!

For hours, she was awake and screaming. It began around 9:45. She would calm down, and I'd try to give her the bottle, but as soon as the rubber nip hit her mouth she screamed until she turned red. Finally, I was able to get her to eat while rocking her. She ate like six ounces and then fell asleep. She stayed asleep until I got up to put her in the bassinet and grab some shut-eye myself. As I was putting her down, she stirred and began screaming again. I walked her around the apartment for a little bit, but my legs were tired just like the rest of me, so I tried rocking her again. Finally around midnight she seemed calm enough so I just put her in the bassinet and went to bed. She had all her needs met; she was just being cranky. After a bit, she fell asleep and slept for something like six hours. That was nice. It was just too bad she was so difficult.

I knew that if she just fell asleep she would sleep for a while since she'd been up all day. Yesterday she was fussy and hungry often. I got in a walk and even some frisbee with Ted, but she didn't think I should ask any more from her. She didn't want to be rocking; she didn't want to be put down; she wasn't hungry; she didn't need a burping or a new diaper; all she wanted was to be up on someone's shoulder as long as they were moving. I can only assume she had an upset stomach or something.

For those of you who don't know, sometimes I have scenarios play out in my head. These aren't things I would ever consider doing, just thoughts. Well last night, I thought about a scenario in which I open the door and loudly proclaim "Free baby! Any takers? Come on people! Free baby here!" Of course I would never do that, but just the fact that I thought about a course of action like that... well, it requires pause.

I've applied now for something like 13 jobs online -- there are only four left open. No calls. No e-mails. Nothing to show these schools are remotely interested in me. On the plus side, we re-arranged the living room a little bit, so now the futon is closer to the TV, but the room feels a little smaller. However, it does free up some space beneath the window for the yoga ball and my guitar. The change is nice, but I'm not convinced it's permanent. If you want to see for yourself, give me a call and come on over. Seriously.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ultrasounds and Nintendo

One thing I've been meaning to mention here is that evidently Nintendo reads my blog. I had no idea. I'm honored.

Way on back, I was incensed and wrote about how Nintendo was going to fail and was all doom-and-gloom. I said no one cared about the Wii and they needed more games to excite gamers again. I'm not even sure what E3 stands for, but this year Nintendo rocked it. They had original third-party games like Epic Mickey that looked cool, they had Donkey Kong Country Returns, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, more Metroid: Other M goodness, and introduced a new version of their popular DS handheld called the 3DS because it has a 3D screen that doesn't require glasses. They rolled out a new Kid Icarus game for it, said they were revamping several classic N64 games like Ocarina of Time and Starfox for it, and even said Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater would come out for it. Everyone else was talking about their motion control technology and maybe a handful of other games. Microsoft solved the Red Ring of Death problem with their new Xbox 360 Slim console. Pretty ingenious. They just removed the red LEDs from the front of the system. So no more Red Ring of Death. If your console breaks, now you won't know why. Meanwhile, Nintendo rocks again. Sweet.

So that had nothing to do with being a stay-at-home Dad, more like being a teenager in the body of someone in their mid-20's.

Today Aislin went to the hospital because her doctor thought there was something funny going on in her hip. We had ultrasound images taken, and the hips look fine. I'm relieved, though I was never that worried. Aislin tuckered herself out by crying loud and hard while they were pressing that hard plastic thing covered in goo all over her diaper region. She's sleeping it off now. When we got there, she was asleep. When she woke up, she was all smiles. When they started the ultrasound, she wasn't excited but not actively unhappy. Then, once the diaper was off, she peed. She's so funny. Every. Time. Every time we take her to the doctor and we take off her diaper she pees.

Kate asked me today if I preferred being called her "Trophy Husband" or her "House Husband." I said the "Trophy Husband" is more flattering because it denotes some sort of physical attractiveness, but I'm not sure it really applies to me. "House Husband" seems kind of demeaning, but more accurate. I don't really know what I am. If these two are my only choices, that's really too bad.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Catching up, Kate's Birthday, and Doctor's Appointments

Sorry there haven't been any new posts lately. Nothing really spectacular has been happening. There were some jobs that opened up and I've applied for them. It looks like that English/Drama teaching position that I wanted may have closed, but the applicants only wanted to teach English, so now there's a full-time drama teaching position open. As the summer goes along, more positions keep opening up. It's promising. No word back from anyone, but it's still promising.

It was Mom's birthday last weekend, and we all went to tea. Aislin was very well-behaved and thoroughly enjoyed her first tea. She again proved to be a show-stealer everywhere she goes.

This past weekend was my first Father's Day, and it was very nice. We mostly relaxed, and hung out with family. To celebrate, Kate and I went to Dairy Queen and I got an ice cream cone. Heh. It was great.

That's about all I have as far as catching-up is concerned. Today is Kate's birthday, and I very cleverly bought her a book and a card while she was at work. She never suspected a thing. I brought them to her today with an iced caramel latte from Red Horse Coffee. The book, I'm sorry to say, was the Eclipse novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner or somesuch. She's really into the Twilight bruhaha and this thing was cheap so it was a perfect fit. I needed to return some cans anyway, and the cash I got almost paid for the book. Kate was surprised and happy. We'd run out of coffee, so the latte in particular was very nice.

Last night, Aislin had fits of inconsolable. They'd strike like lightening too. One minute she'd be asleep -- the next minute she'd be wailing like a banshee. She probably had some premonitions about her doctor's appointment today. It was her two-month checkup today, and for those of you not in-the-know, the two-month checkup entails several shots. Last night and the night before, her precognition must have been warning her of the things to come. I was holding her hands and looking into her eyes when they gave her the shots. She has never screamed so loud and at such a high pitch. This was real pain. Tears were streaming down her bright crimson cheeks as her little world suddenly got significantly more unpleasant. The doctor recommended baby Tylenol so I'm going to pick some up along with some coffee and sour cream after lunch. As I was doing my best to console her, I realized that the earliest memory I have is going to the doctor's office to get shots. I tried to tell her that, but she did not find it comforting. She fell asleep on the car ride home, and for now I'm just trying to keep her peaceful.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Energy = Thoughtful

Last night I got plenty of sleep, so this morning I hit the floor both feet running. I had two cups of coffee and there was no holding me back... from watching like, four episodes of Invader Zim. What a great show. After lunch/breakfast, I felt so good I even showered and put on clean clothes. The dirty pants and stinky sweat shirt I had been wearing all week found themselves in the laundry pile, and I even toyed with going for a walk. Instead, I did the dishes, fed the baby, and read a little.

As I was reading I had my ipod on in the kitchen, and a song came on that I found freshman year in college. My freshman year was really great. Especially fall term. It was the first time I was out of the house, I didn't have a job, classes were easy... it was a great time. I had only one responsibility: do passably in class. I didn't even have a girlfriend. I would stay up late at night watching downloaded movies or playing computer games. The computer was my only media device at the time. The only other material thing that I had was my mini-fridge. I didn't have any DVDs, ipods, video games, tvs, Xboxs... nothing. If you can't tell by now, it made me quite nostalgic. As I was sitting in my easy chair beneath my heavily-laden bookcase, cradling my baby girl, my ipod on in the background, I realized that someday I'd be nostalgic for that moment too. It was an encouraging thought. I sometimes lose myself in nostalgia and forget the time I'm living in now is also a good time. Now is good. Could be better, but could also be so much worse.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Quiet day, 'cept for the whimpering

Well, I just got an e-mail from my contact in the Corvallis School District. The language arts position at CV moved on to the interview process without me. I'm disappointed, but I don't know about the drama position yet. I'm not holding out much hope, but there is a bit left.

Last night was kind of hard. We went to our friend's house for dinner and afterward I watched Watchmen with them. Kate went home and went to bed, but she didn't get to sleep. Aislin kept her up cluster-feeding. She called me at midnight making sure I was coming straight home -- which I did. When I got here, Kate shifted onto my side of the bed and went to sleep, signifying to me that the baby was my responsibility for the rest of the night. Honestly and seriously: totally reasonable. She still had to get up early this morning and go to work. I sure didn't.

Aislin and I have been eating unhealthy food and watching Invader Zim. I did take a break though and beat Gears of War. I even played No More Heroes for a little bit. But now I don't feel like watching more tv or playing more games or even reading. I feel like taking a nap. I know this is bad because then I'll wake up in a bit and I'll feel terrible. Naps don't help me. I sleep, but when I wake up I'm groggy and miserable. Maybe I'll just get some water and tough it out. Last night I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns, so I need to find a new book to read. I think I'll read 1984. I was born that year, after all. So many books to read...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Existentialism and the ballet

Here's the first Monday Aislin and I have been home alone together. Last week went pretty well -- we watched some movies and had a pretty good time. Over the weekend, the three of us got to see a bunch of family at my niece's ballet recital on Saturday, and our friend Maarika visited us for a bit on Sunday.

The ballet was "Beauty and the Beast." My niece Kaylynn was Belle. She moves with incredible grace and is really light on her feet. Kate and I agree that she's about outgrown the little studio she's a part of right now. The studio has been great to her, and she grew up in it, but she's a big fish in a little pond.

We slept in a little bit, so we were rushing the entire drive up to Hillsboro. We left Aislin in the care of my oldest niece, Cece. I was excited about this. Cece's in college, and what with a shifting family situation, we haven't seen very much of her. I had this sinister plan to get her to bond with Aislin and thus want to see us more. So far it has worked. Aislin got a little sunburned on her cheeks, but she was such an alabaster baby before and it cleared up almost completely by the next day.

Kate asked me yesterday if I knew who I was inside, or some philosophical question relating to identity like that. It's a question I struggled with for a while, and then ignored. I noticed I was a sponge, in that I absorbed the characteristics of my friends and repeated them. Once I noticed that, I became obsessed with being genuine. I still am, to an extent. But it's an interesting question, because I do feel like I spent so much time preparing myself for a life that I've been shut out from lately (teaching High School English), and now for a year I've been staying at home taking care of my baby, watching movies and playing video games. I've been doing a little reading, but mostly doing my best impression of a seriously lazy person. A person with little to no ambition. My friend Joel has said he can get me on at his work, which would double our income in our little apartment, but that would me I'd be working graveyard shifts. Is it worth it? Do I keep holding out for a teaching position next year? That's what I want to do, but is it because I'm enjoying being lazy, or is it because I've tied up so much of my identity preparing for such an occupation? I think it's the latter and the former is just an added benefit.

Thanks to all who have been supportive of my blog so far. I've really appreciated it. So much, in fact, I started another one. This one is called The Coterie Blog. It's pretty much an English Major's blog where writers can submit pieces of prose or poetry fiction or nonfiction whatever, and comment on them. If you've got a piece of writing you want posted... give it a try. I'm going to.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Easy breezy so far -- not flippantly

I haven't posted in a while, but that's because there hasn't really been anything exciting to post. Truth is, there STILL isn't. I just don't want to leave my avid readers hanging. So here goes:

Kate went back to work last week, so I got my first day alone with the baby. I had been up a lot during the night, so I slept in until after Kate's lunch break. She came home and said hi, and later said how cute we looked. Aislin was looking at the pictures we had propped up in her bassinet, and I was dead to the world. After I got up, I played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, one of my all-time favorite video games ever, and beat it in two sittings. One day; two sittings. Bam chili fries.

Over the weekend, we took her to my friend's birthday party. All the girls at the party passed her around while Kate and I hung out by the mojitos and margaritas. Both were a little strong. After a few minutes, a semi-drunk Steve announced to the girls at the party that they needed to give him their phone numbers -- in case we ever wanted a baby sitter. In my drunkenness, I couldn't understand why they didn't laugh until I added that addendum. Now I see all too clearly. Ah youth. My friend Heather Hewlett dropped by and gave Aislin a blanket she had made that had the TMNT on it. It's obviously far and away her best blanket so far. That was Sunday.

Kate's parents and our friends from Portland, Stan and Amanda PLUS their wonderful child Nikki visited us on Saturday and took us out to a restaurant. It was the first time we'd been to an actual restaurant, but we were confident because there were three mothers with us. Aislin was the talk of the waitresses in the back; everyone wanted to hold her. She fussed a little but quickly fell asleep on Peggy's shoulder.

On Monday we went to my parents' house to honor Memorial Day. My brother, Brent was there, as well as my nieces Kaylynn, Leah, and Sarah. Brent's fiancee, Verda was also there, as well as her two daughters Riley and Harper. Neither Brent nor Verda and her girls had met Aislin yet, and we were happy they had this chance. She was a hit with all of them.

This week, Kate's been back at work and I've been gradually getting up earlier and earlier. Still, normally not until Kate gets home for lunch. Aislin's been a champ: we watched Iron Man yesterday (she slept through it) and Live Free or Die Hard today (she slept through that one too). Tomorrow I'm taking her out to Mom and Dad's because Mom wants to see her. Dad called on her behalf today under the guise of being concerned about how I was doing. I'm sure they're truly concerned, but so far it's been smooth sailing. They just want to see her. I'm planning on visiting them after lunch and coming home before our friends Joel and Heather make us dinner. In between, I'm having coffee with Dave. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An Adventure

First of all, let me say this: everyone is fine.

A couple days ago, Kate went to the lactation consultant because she was having problems breastfeeding. In short, any time Aislin had to eat Kate had to cry because it was uber painful. Blisters. Swelling. Cracks. You get the idea. The consultant suggested trying a different type of bottle, nipple shields, and a topical ointment called gentian violet. It was kind of funny after Kate put this stuff on because Aislin looked like a little goth baby with a purple five o' clock shadow. We got some pictures and I'll add them to my facebook page once I've reclaimed some of my lost rest.

Last night it got interesting.

At midnight, Kate was in bed and I was awake finishing a video game I rented from Hollywood video (Prince of Persia -- a decent game, but I felt the ending betrayed the mood of the rest of the game. Still impressive and bold in it's choice, and I was afraid it would be something like this... anyway.) plus Hollywood video is bankrupt so I wanted to get the game back to them before the doors closed forever. Why don't I just keep it, you ask? Because I have too many games already, jackass. Now shut up and let me tell you what's really important.

Aislin starts to cry. I try to feed her, but she is none too interested. Aha! Diaper. I go into the nursery to change her diaper. As she is lying on the changing table, she vomited a little bit. Blood. My baby girl spit up blood. Never a good sign. I woke up Kate who called Ask a Nurse who said "take her to the ER." So we did. Five hours later, all her blood work, ultrasounds, everything is coming back ok. Meanwhile, Aislin is totally chill. Not the least bit distressed until they start poking her, rubbing cold gel on her, or otherwise detaining her from eating. The doctors are afraid she could have internal bleeding. Kate is convinced it's actually HER blood (remember the cracks on the nipples?), but there's no way to be sure without checking out her stomach lining. I suggest just test the blood she spat up and see whose it is. The only problem is this is real life, not CSI. Stupid Steve.

There's only one option: go to Doernbecker Children's Hospital in Portland. For those not in the know, it's a section of OHSU. It was 5:00 AM. We'd been at the hospital since midnight and I hadn't slept at all. Kate had slept for about two hours. Doernbecker is a scary place for Kate because that's where her sister was treated for her brain tumor and ultimately died. On top of this being a thoroughly exhausting trip, both physically and financially, it becomes incredibly stressful emotionally.

I drive most of the way, but find myself nodding off north of Salem so we switch. In five minutes I'm asleep. We get to the hospital, they run some tests, my parents come up, it's all very exciting. Kate and I also get some sleep on a single-size bed they have in the room. Aislin's totally chill. The doctors and nurses are a little freaked out by her purple mouth. After more tests and blood work, they conclude Aislin's just fine. That means the blood is Kate's, and we can't have Aislin drinking her mommy's blood. That's just not ok. So, we decide to have her frenulum snipped to loosen her tongue. This should improve her latch and make everyone more comfortable; it will also decrease her chances of developing a speech impediment later in life.

We got home maybe an hour ago. It's nearly 6:00. Not ok. We're encouraged by everything, but the possibility of bankruptcy looms in my imagination. I heard Kate telling her mom (who was worried sick for completely understandable reasons) that it was over. I thought in my head that this trip is over, but we'll have to see if the problem is truly solved. Plus this trip will have repercussions we'll have to face soon. Gulp. Over? Probably not.

But we're all ok and Dad's buying us pizza. It was quite an adventure but I'm glad to see the back of it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nights out, sleeping patterns, and idiocy

Today Mom and Dad offered to babysit Aislin while Kate and I have dinner out on them. It was way too good an offer to pass up. We talked about going to Big River or Aqua, but we ended up going to Applebee's. I nearly ate myself sick. It was a fantastic time. Afterwords, we went to Francesco's for gelato. Mom and Dad were sorry to see us return "so soon." Apparently, Aislin had slept a majority of the time except for what sounded like a very exciting episode where she woke up and cried. Mom changed her diaper and fed her, and Aislin went back to sleep. Sage, my parents' dog, didn't know what to think of Aislin crying. The dog started barking along with her. And then, Dad held Aislin while Mom got a changing station ready, and Sage didn't think too highly of the alpha male in the group holding a baby girl. It must have been funny. I'm kind of sorry I missed it. Mom and Dad say they'll have to do it again so they have more time to spend with her. We're all for it.

Kate goes back to work next week, and I'm a little nervous about it. Not so much because I'll be at home alone with the baby, but -- this sounds kind of silly I guess -- our circadian rhythms are off. We've gotten kind of used to staying up past midnight, in my case up to 3:00, and then sleeping in to the afternoon. Last night I tried to go to bed early but I ended up tossing and turning for hours and I still slept in until noon. Come next Wednesday, Kate will need to be at work by 8:30. If things stay the way they are, she won't make it and I'll be dead to the world.

In other news, I read a review of the new Prince of Persia game (which I totally want to play) on IGN. The reviewer sounded pretty competent and I would have taken his advice if he had known how to use an apostrophe. He kept saying "player's" when he meant "players." It wasn't once, either. He was convinced these players owned something, not that there was simply more than one. Dude. How did you get a job writing for a serious, award-winning video game website and I'm unemployed in a crappy two bedroom apartment in Corvallis Oregon? More justice, please.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Her father: the vomit receptical

Alright, so it's been a while but I haven't really had anything exciting to report. Until now. Aislin's growing bigger day by day, and the bump on her head is entirely gone. She's learned a new trick though. And I don't like it. She pukes on me. For the past few times, in a row, she's puked her entire last meal all over me. I'm not bouncing her or squeezing her or anything. She just... explodes. First, it happened this morning. It got all over me and my favorite chair. I decided to just shower and stay up. It gave me some quality "Mass Effect" time. Peggy and Leland visited and brought us some food, and when they left it happened again. This time it happened all over my Troubled Hubble t-shirt. Tragedy. Ah well, at least it wasn't poop. That will stain, but I'm pretty sure this curdled milk will just wash out. Still. Twice in a row -- it makes you think. Hard to cope with the implications that hurls your way. Ooh. Vomiting pun. Was it intentional? ...Sure?

What do I say after that? What could I possibly follow that with? She's getting so big that last night I had to put her down because my arms and back were getting tired. I consider that a landmark. Anyway. I'm so sleepy. I'm calling it good. I'll post again when I get the chance.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bored, with highlights

Today was a boring day. Ask Kate. We sat around today being bored and boring. I did go over to Ted's place and got to try my hands on the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta and got my butt kicked so hard I cried. One of Ted's friends asked him what was up with me -- do I have an Xbox? Have I ever played Halo? Jeeze. I'm kind of sad about how much I suck. PLUS it was Ted's birthday -- surprise! Had no idea. I suck, AND I'm a bad friend. See? Not really a good day.

Aislin spent just about the entire day eating. That was a large part of why we were both so bored today. We were totally incapacitated. Here's a funny story: Kate went to take a bath, so it fell to me to look after Aislin. I was holding her in my lap and about to read her some Yeats when she pooped all over me. It got on my shirt, my pants, and soaked through to the skin. Unpleasant? Yes. Did Kate laugh? Very yes. After we both changed clothes, I put Aislin in the sling and read her Yeats while Kate went for a walk. In true poetic fashion, Aislin was asleep by the third poem.

I applied for a part-time job today at CHS. After I told Kate, she said we'd have to pay for child care if I got it. That's probably true; I think I'd be making more than we are right now, but probably not. Don't know. We'll see.

Tomorrow we see Iron Man 2 and hang out with our friends Nick and Destiny. It'll mark two landmarks in our short parenting career: first, it'll be the longest car trip we've taken with her; second, it'll be the longest period of time we've spent away from her together. We're leaving her in Peggy's care, so I'm not worried about her safety or anything. It'll be interesting to see how the day goes. It'll also be interesting to see if we get up in time. Speaking of that, I need to hit the sack.

And no comments? What's up with that?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A slow day and I need to get out more I guess

Not much to report today. Aislin slept well last night; she only woke up a few times and demanded our attention. It did throw our pattern out the window though. Kate and I dealt with her together a majority of the night. I expect tonight will be different though. It's 11:30 at night and I just now finished my last cup of coffee. Whoopsie daisy. Ah well. Kate's been scowling at me every time I mention the phrase "video games" so maybe I'll take advantage of my irrational caffeination and play a little while she saws logs. And I'll take care of the baby too, of course.

Today I bought Mother's Day gifts. I got Mom a frame that has two pictures of me during graduation. I bought Kate some stuff too, but I'm afraid of posting her gifts on the internet for security reasons. I'm sure you understand. It seemed like a good day for it, because Kate had a bit of a hard day. She's been trying to cut back on the ibuprofen and she had a hard time breastfeeding today. All in all, it was hard on her, so conditions were perfect for me to dote on her a little. She won't know it until Sunday. I doubt the things I ordered will arrive by Sunday, so she'll even get to enjoy the anticipation of awaiting packages in the mail.

Last night I finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and it was alright. The obvious problem proved more difficult: what to read next? I thought about reading a book called The Beauty of the Lillies by John Updike, one of my favorite authors, but it was almost 500 pages long and I thought I had better work my way up to it. I considered As I Lay Dying by Faulkner, but I thought something less cerebral would be better. 1984 seemed like a good choice, but I opted out at the last second and chose The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. I made it to page three and put it back. Finally, I settled on A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. If it's anything like his other book, The Kite Runner, the length will have little to do with the time it takes me to read it. I read that book in about a week, I think. Maybe four days. OMG like you care. Ok.

Basically, Aislin slept today, ate today, and was extremely cute. I found a new book to read, and I'm going through Mass Effect withdrawls. That's it. That's all I have to report.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dinner, light reading, and general catching up

Today our friends Joel and Heather came over and made dinner. It was really nice to see our friends. They hung out for a while and we all caught up; it was a good time. I loaned Heather more of my comics EVEN THOUGH she still hasn't returned the ones I loaned her last time! I'm just kidding; it's not a big deal. Aislin slept through most of their visit.

As a matter of fact, Aislin slept through most of the day. That doesn't bode well for our nighttime. She had an active period earlier today which was assuaged by a timely bottle intervention, and soon afterward she was attached to Kate for hours. She does this trick I'm pretty sure I've talked about: she fusses, then eats, falls asleep, wakes up when we move her to her bed, remembers she was eating, repeat. Sometimes she's hysterical enough to have a hard time latching on. That sounds like it may be the case at this moment. My friend Luke said she was a quiet baby: even when she screamed it wasn't as loud as he's heard other children. The girl working at our landlord's office, Heidi, said that there hadn't been any complaints from our neighbors. Both nice things. But for us, when she screams it's pushing it. She's terribly cute when she screams. She scrunches up her face and opens her mouth as wide as she can. If only she were more easily comforted.

I'm plowing through Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and finding it enjoyable. There are parts that are just too silly, but other parts that are more history textbook. Of course, I guess that's what I bargained for. I'm sure Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is part too silly, part serious literature in a similar vein. I'm just over halfway through this book now, and pleased with my progress. I'm trying to decide what to read next. I want to read Angels and Demons but I think I should see the movie first. The book is normally better, and with The DaVinci Code that was certainly the case. If you read the book first, therefore, it ruins the movie. But if the book is better anyway, you lose very little by seeing the movie first. Ha! Foolproof logic, right there. You're welcome.

Haven't heard anything on the job application. I requested more letters of recommendation today from some of my favorite professors. Whatever they have to say on my behalf could only help. The whole thing has made me anxious. Hopefully it'll work out. I'll keep you posted, avid readers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Job application jitters

So I just applied for two full-time teaching jobs. Yeah. Freaking out. One is Language Arts teaching, which I'm totally down with, but the OTHER is Language Arts/Drama. Me oh my. Full time, totally paid like a real-live person. It would be awesome to get a job that would support a family like a real responsible dad. We'll see how it goes. More to come (hopefully).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Dad Old Dad and Trips to Lebanon

Yesterday was a day of debauchery. I'm sorry to our normal fellow-debauchees; it was very spur of the moment. My friend Luke came over and brought two pint bottle of beer: we shared. He also brought a bottle of Spanish wine: we shared and split with Kate and our friend Ted. Then, Luke, Ted, and I did something I've been wanting to do since St. Patrick's Day: Irish Car Bombs. All of that on a stomach filled with only a little sheep cheese. We then watched The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. That movie was weird. Totally good, but weird.

What a wonderful topic to discuss on a blog about being a new father. Yes, well... just because I'm a father now doesn't mean I can't have fun anymore. Did I talk about this article Kate read that ticked me off? I think I did. It asked the reader (Kate, in this instance) whether or not the father (me) is mature enough to be a suitable father. The example that it gave was of someone quoting "Family Guy" to the in-laws. Ok. I'm prudent enough to not quote it, but does this article expect me to stop enjoying it? I have three volumes of "Family Guy" that I'm not giving up. I'm not going to give up drinking occasionally, playing video games, reading comic books, and dorky television just because I happen to be a parent now. Kids rule their parents' lives. It's true. That doesn't mean the parents have to become ascetic. Having things around that you enjoy becomes even more crucial when you're a parent, IMHO. You need an outlet that is totally your thing. Something that you identify with; your identity is on seriously shifting sand -- it's good to have something that is a constant to bridge the time spent before you were a parent and the time now that you are a parent. You're not a totally different person. Why make the transition harder than it already is? Stupid stupid stupid.

Today we visited Aislin's Great Grandmother in Lebanon. She was very surprised and excited to see us. My parents planned it as an early Mother's Day present for her. She didn't expect us to be comfortable with the trip, but we totally were. Even stopped at Burgerville on the way back. Totally got sick. Oh yeah. We're awesome. Aislin was super good over there too. She was peaceful for the majority of the time, and then she got hungry and let us know. After Kate fed her, she was awake and looking around and showed off her growing neck muscles. Grandma held her as she squirmed and looked around. It was a very special moment. Mom got lots of pictures.

I'm over halfway through Abraham Lincoln too. The thing about history books that is different from fictional literature is that you're really only challenged with remembering who all the names belong to. In fiction you're constantly on the lookout for symbolism and irony and themes; it's a much more active process. Reading history books is a much more informative pastime.

Well I'm sure this is a very enjoyable blog post. Here: I'll redeem it by talking about Aislin some more. She smiled at me again today, and this time Kate and Peggy saw her do it. Heh heh. Actually, it's not that funny because I think Kate is seriously jealous of me now. She was talking to me about it and laughing, but I could tell she was welling up a bit. Damn but I got to keep the postpartum off. Plus she's told me time and again: she laughs when she feels anything -- any type of joy or pain. She laughed when Bina died. It's not to be taken lightly.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Reading Routines

Kate's mom Peggy came over today, which is always nice. She's a wonderful person and is totally willing to help tidy things up around here. We bathed Aislin and went through her clothes. There are already clothes she doesn't fit anymore, and the diapers she's in currently might be too small. It was a nice time, but I felt a little out of place simply because I had gotten used to doing things with just Kate. With Peggy there, I wasn't sure how to proceed. It wasn't unpleasant; I just felt like I stood around a lot looking useless.

One routine Kate and I have worked out is in the middle of the night when Aislin screams, I check her diaper and change it if need be -- and usually need most definitely DOES be, like in the worst way -- and then I stay in the room and read while she feeds her. That way I'm alert and at her disposal should she need anything like food, water, pain pills (insert Left 4 Dead reference here). The book I've been reading has been Catch 22, and thank God because there's no way I would have found another reason to read it. I just finished it a few minutes ago, and I'm glad I did. Until I started this routine, I found the book repetitive, boring, and just detestable. And long. Oh the length. It stifles me. But now that I've finished it, I kind of liked it. It picked up at the end once I found the plot and picked up on some of the symbolism. The thing is, this book is filled with idiots. Just damn fools. The kicker is that they're all the ones in power making decisions. So these morons are making these horrible decisions for their own personal gain and adversely affecting the relatively sane people below them. One in particular is when the medic is perceived KIA when he's actually safely back at base, but the paperwork has already been filed. The Colonels inform his wife in the states and stop his pay. He tries to communicate with her, but the army won't let her communicate back because they believe he's dead; when she tells them he's not they say she's wrong. When she tells them of his letters they say she's the victim of an opportunistic prankster and should pay it no mind. She moves away to avoid it all and leaves no forwarding address. It's an instance of humor that reminds me of Chekhov: it's this painful kind of humor that crushes your spirit. It unsettles me.

Anyway -- now I'm going to read Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Keneally (the guy who wrote Schindler's Ark which became Schindler's List) so I can be as prepared as possible for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It's a great plan.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't Wake Aislin

New favorite baby accessory: coffee pot. Second favorite: baby sling. There have been horror stories about baby slings like "Ooh, never use a baby sling, they suffocate your baby!" But you'd have to be a pretty rotten parent to begin with to let that happen, so really the baby is better off! JK. Seriously, JK.

Also, the doctor said yesterday that she shouldn't be on a bottle until one month, and I whispered to Kate "should we tell her we've already introduced her to the bottle and is doing great?" and she said "no." Yeah, she's eating out of the bottle almost every night. Sometimes she looks at me like "Daddy-feeding -- does not compute" but she pounds it like it's going out of style.

Nothing really noteworthy has happened yet today. I went shopping for more baby wipes and -sarcasm- I'm sure that's worth reading about. She's sleeping in the sling on my chest right now. I've got to be careful because Kate's making beans in the crock pot, and if Aislin wakes up she'll want to nurse.

Kate was kind of upset that I played Mass Effect 2 all day yesterday. I probably shouldn't have. I'll end on that note and this one: anyone who thinks Yvonne Strahovsky ISN'T perfect for Emma Frost in the next X-Men movie is crazy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Screaming Aislin

I feel like I should talk about my previous post a little since it came directly out of left field. While Kate and Aislin were sleeping I saw a video interview of a Nintendo mucky-muck and his smug, tight-lipped demeanor upset me a little. I'd post a link to the video file here, but I don't know how to do that. It's somewhere on if you're interested.

Today we visited the doctor. They're still concerned about her jaundice, so they drew more blood. I die a little inside every time they do that. Aislin was in Kate's arms resting peacefully, then they pricked her heel and she started screaming every injustice in the world. The nurse was really good though. It took her hardly any time at all to get all she needed and bandage Aislin's foot.

Last night our friends Ted and Eric brought us Mexican food for dinner and it was wonderful. We now have Mexican food, Chinese food, and Italian food in our fridge. We are totally multi-cultural. After they left around 9:00, Kate and I went to bed. For the first half of the night, we woke up around every hour. Apparently, babies go through a growth spurt at two weeks and require more milk. It threw us off because she would start screaming right after she ate and we figured she couldn't be still hungry. But she was. Around 4:00 she settled down and slept for a good stretch. We were fairly rested when we reported to the doctor's office at 10:30 this morning.

She knows her first trick, too: when we strip her down to her birthday suit to weigh her, she pees on everything. She's really good at it.

At first, when she would start screaming, I just wanted her to be quiet. I still do, but I'm not as afraid. I'm more familiar with Screaming Aislin now. When she closes her eyes as tightly as she can and screams with everything she has, it's cute. I smile and sometimes I laugh. Unless it's 2:00 in the morning. Then I just want her to stop. Kate and I were lucky enough to get a picture of one of her brief smiles today. Babies don't start smiling for a little while because their muscles aren't developed. But one morning I swear she looked at me and smiled.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An Open Letter to Nintendo

Nintendo is going to fail. They appear dedicated to alienating potentially the most loyal fan base there has ever been. Yes, Galaxy 2 is exciting. New Mario Bros Wii was cool. Other M looks nigh revolutionary. But what else is there? Red Steel 2, a follow-up to a lackluster original. That's. It. Where is Zelda? Well, according to Nintendo it could be nowhere. Oh shut up and give us SOMETHING. Ooh. Spirit Tracks. Alright fine. It's been, what, six years? Seven? Since Twilight Princess. Let's take a look at what other franchises have been doing: Mass Effect 1 and 2; Uncharted 1 and 2; Halo 3, ODST, and Reach; Gears of War 1, 2, and 3; Killzone 1 and 2; Call of Duty 4, 5, and Modern Warfare 2; Left 4 Dead 1 and 2; Bioshock 1 and 2; and the coup d'etat: Metal Gear Solid 4, Peace Walker, and Rising. Some of these games haven't been released, but we have teasers and know they're coming even if it's a long way out. Even No More Heroes 1 and 2. What has Nintendo given us? Nothing. Three Metal Gear Solid games have been revealed and two have been released since TP. That's low. Nintendo: You're a sinking ship. The Game Cube disappointed. The Wii may be selling well, but gamers like me who grew up on the original NES want more. We want Kirby. We want Kid Icarus. We want Star Fox. We want a DK platformer. The gaming industry considers the Wii a joke and you are providing the punch line. You have the best top-tier games in the industry: Mario, Zelda, Metroid. Fill it out with some tier two games like Star Fox, Icarus, Kirby, DK. That's all we'll need to be satisfied. Personally, I don't see what the challenge is. You've got fans clamoring for these games. You even have a flight mechanic worked out (see: Wii Sports Resort). Give us more games. You're the grand-daddy in the industry. Stop acting like a slow, crotchety old man or you'll die. You've had unimpressive E3 showings for as long as I've cared. Give us what we want. No tier two games is a mystery, but staying this tight-lipped for this long on the next Zelda game is inexcusable and embarrassing. You're alienating everyone. Quit it.

Grocery Shopping

Today we're ambitious. We're going to try to go to the grocery store to pick up a few necessities. Namely, coffee and chocolate chips. Kate is getting a little sick of being in the apartment all the time, so she's going to come with me. That means we can be the worst parents ever and leave Aislin at home, or we can bring her with us. I know it's alright to bring infants to Safeway because I hear them screaming all the time. So today that might be us. I'm excited.

I'm also excited for a new episode of "Chuck" tonight.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Late-Night Dining

Normally when I'm up this late it's doing something more enjoyable, i.e. hanging with friends or playing Halo. There was a time when being up this late meant homework, but those days have passed. Not tonight. No gaming, no friends. Just a hungry 10-day old baby. On April 14, my life changed forever. My wife gave birth to our daughter, Aislin. Spell check tells me that's not a familiar word. It's not familiar to anyone, evidently. No one has gotten it right yet. A-zlin. Just like it's spelled. What's so hard about that? It's probably anti-Celtic sentiment. Or not.

Tonight, like the past ten nights, I have waked from my peaceful slumber to a small child screaming with a voice that by all rights is too big for her little body. She's in the nursery now, and her mom's feeding her. She's been feeding her for quite a while. Aislin has jaundice so she falls asleep while she's nursing and wakes up as soon as we move her and starts wailing again. At least we get to see her open eyes. They're gorgeous. If you held her head up to the clear night sky and she opened her eyes, you'd swear there were two little holes in her head that you could see through. Anyway, I digress. She takes a long time to eat because she keeps falling asleep. There. That's all.

It makes me kind of grumpy. At least my wife's here. God knows how I'll fare when she has to go back to work. Last night I fed Aislin a bottle and she kept looking at me suspiciously. I was obviously not Mommy, but she was getting fed nonetheless. It's just something I'll have to get used to. I knew what I was getting into eight months ago. Now we'll see how I do.