Friday, October 31, 2008

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More baby pictures.

Oh, hey.

My new secret game project finally got announced.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Scene from Breakfast.

(Chris prepares breakfast, slicing half a ball of mozzarella with Kim's chef's knife.* Kim enters, carrying Ian in one hand and his bouncy chair in another. She drops it and starts kicking it into place facing the breakfast nook.**)

CHRIS: I know you're busy, but this knife really needs sharpening. If you love me... if you love your knives...

KIM: (pauses) I DO love my knives...

* The complete breakfast was: coffee, buttered toasted Armenian sweetbread (NOT sweetbreads), sliced fresh mozzarella, and, um, chocolate-covered raisins leftover from the snacks-for-the-hospital pile.

** "It" in this case is the bouncy chair, not Ian.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Swaddling Is Awesome.

I rest my case.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Is Tasty.

We had our first road trip today, to the pediatrician's, where Ian checked out great, and we got some advice for tuning our breastfeeding strategy. Ian complains up a storm when being put in the chair, but is totally quiet when being carried around and during the entire drive. On the way back we treated ourselves to drinks at Starbucks, and Ian remained calm and/or disinterested as we brought him in while we ordered. No one managed to hock phlegm or aspirate other vital fluids while we were in the shop, so we hope there'll be no lasting damage.

So, what have we learned over these first five days, and two days home? Here's a partial list:
  • Sleep has been relatively managable since we got home. We're still operating on less than normal - particularly Kim - but aside from occasionally slumping solemnly and silently over Ian, trying to hold our arms in the few positions that work for finger-feeding and syringe-suspending, things remain fairly under control.
  • That said, when relatively sleep deprived, apparently math skills are the first thing to go out the window. Both Kim and I have spent upwards of fifteen seconds attempting to do such complex calculations as subtracting and adding single digits.
  • It seems totally possible that when we try to move Ian towards more proper breastfeeding, then this delicate balance of sleeping-just-enough-to-stay-sane-but-arithmetically-impaired will collapse. So, um, we have that to look forward to.
  • So far, Kim and I are both maintaining legitimate efforts at personal hygiene. That's nice.
  • Where the hell did I learn to do diapers well, and relatively quickly? That makes no sense. (Maybe it was all those childhood years learning to operate Transformers toys without breaking them?)
  • I went twenty-seven whole hours -- in a row -- without getting peed on in mid-diaper change. It was so cute that I thought I'd last longer than that.
  • I'm not surprised that I got over the whole "pee and poo are gross" concept, since all evidence suggests that every new dad ends up being alarming comfy with being up to their (and/or their baby's) armpits in the stuff. But I am pleasantly surprised at how it happened. From the first diaper change, I didn't have even a moment to react for myself; my first impulse was to "get this stuff off of my child so he will be clean and happy and preferably not urinating-comepetitively-for-distance." The complete replacement of personal reaction with concern for Ian feels pretty cool.
  • What's maybe strangest is how, overall, it doesn't feel like "everything's changed." Ian has slotted into our home lives in a way that feels alarmingly normal, naturally and comfortably taking top priorities in my life, but not completely eliminating my ability to take care of minor duties around the house. I won't speak for Kim here, since she's definitely doing the heavier lifting overall, and I have a knack for being oblivious to some of the more challenging aspects of my days. And I also know that things will get harder as we go forward: there's a really great safety net provided by family and friends right now, and I won't have to try balancing work and home-with-baby for nearly another week. But right now it feels totally natural to be websurfing and typing with a baby on my lap. (Our cat Tasha doesn't consider it so damned normal, but she's coping okay.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ian Sucks.

Ian's requiring some special training for breastfeeding, at least until Kim's onboard supplies are fully up and running, so we're doing "finger feeding" of formula from syringes and tubes, every three hours.

It's a two-person job -- one-and-a-quarter-people, really -- so we're both involved with every major feeding right now. It's tiring, and sometimes frustrating when Ian isn't making progress, for both of us. But it's cool to do this together, even more than the expected "I'll change him you'll feed him" sharing we're preparing for.

Also, while I'm posting, here's our first group photo from Saturday.

Home Now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ian is a clever boy.

Ian is a clever boy with a hypothesis.

His hypothesis: this breastfeeding stuff is a load of crap.

We endeavor to challenge the logical fallacies in his theorem, but he seems more than willing to maintain the courage of his convictions.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to finish up the PowerPoint deck that will illustrate our argument using a compelling mix of incontrovertible statistics, dramatic slide transitions and black-and-white pictures of duckies.

And now... a glimpse of the future?

(Except that Ian isn't adopted, this is pretty much accurate.)


Now that THAT's out of the way...

Born October 16, 2008, 8:38pm.

7 lb. 8.2 oz., 20 in. long.

Cute as hell. (Moreso after some post-birth clean-up and natural de-smushing.)

Loved deeply.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last (Pre-baby) Meals

Dinner: Pizza from Armando's; martini for me, water (which I wish I'd poured in a martini glass) for Kim; french fries and ketchup; chocolate ice cream.

Breakfast: pancakes and maple syrup; coffee for me; orange juice + seltzer for both of us.

Okay. Here we go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Homestretch

Looks like they will be inducing tomorrow -- though Kim's starting to progress towards labor more quickly than she was a few days before.

It seems unlikely that things will happen any sooner than tomorrow, but you never know.

I think I'm calmer having a final, finite moment to focus on. We'll be getting up, packing our last things, and checking in for what I'm thinking of as the most bizarre vacation anyone could possibly imagine.

We'll be sure to send postcards.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home Again

In retrospect, it should have been no surprise that driving ninety minutes away from our hospital on the spur of the moment could cause some anxiety, but after a sit-down dessert-fest at a coffeehouse (with a bathroom) all was well again and we had a great time wandering around Portsmouth. It's a place that we've not visited in years, after wearing a deep, tiring rut in the place on many annual Christmas gift-shopping trips. For dinner, we gorged on french fries done up like potato skins -- a decent antidote to my own sudden poutine cravings -- and ended up bringing most of our BBQ entrees home for tomorrow's lunches.

This bonus weekend in particular has been great for us. We alternate between relaxing at the added time and stressing over the ongoing uncertainty of When It All Finally Begins, but having the time together, doing normal things that soon won't be anything like normal, has been a sweet denouement to our soon-to-be-formerly easy lives. Bring on the baby!

(But maybe please wait until Thursday like we've planned.)

Bonus Grown-up Weekends

So we're at one-point-something weeks past Li'l Squirmy's due date, which means we've been gifted with two weekends clear of any non-baby obligations. We're trying to make the most of them, although some of that takes the form (for me at least) of lazing around in a way that will be pretty much impossible in a few days.

Saturday we bummed around the house while I compiled our separate musical selections into a single bed-time CD -- a time-consuming rathole that I happily burrowed into -- then went picking pumpkins in Ipswich, followed by an oversized dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant in Newburyport. Sunday we had a lot of fun at the Harvard Square Harvest Festival, which was overtaken by the Honk! Festival making it much more fun than any street festival I can recall, followed by Kim roasting one of our chickens from the meat CSA, which was very very tasty.

Right now we're off to Portsmouth for what most definitely -- next week we're inducing come hell or high-and-unbroken water -- be our last impromptu husband-wife road trip for a very long time. Hopefully we'll not be too neurotic about not squandering our Last Day Of Freedom.