Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flying high till the tirbulence hits...

Modern Mechanix (Sep, 1953)

In all honesty I have, in fact, experienced a luggage rack first hand and I must say, they are not as uncomfortable as one might think. Thankfully, I don't remember any cameras at Chris and Deena's Bachelor/Bachelorette party.

Ahh, life was so much simpler then...

California lovin'

Going on 12 days now without a blog update. Part of me feels really bad for being such a slacker…the other part of me wonders why I’m not napping. Napping is awesome.

So we made it to California and back [Kodak Link] in one piece, or so I’ve been told. Delirious and confused, I enjoyed sunny Southern California from the confines of Ashley’s old bedroom with an average body temperature of about 102, so I can’t really give an unbiased opinion as to the fun being had at the local watering holes or beach blanket bingo games. In any news, the Thomas family ceiling fan is working fine and dandy. I can definitely attest to that. It is very balanced and spins at varying speeds. You can even shut it off! All light bulbs are also in working condition.

So anyway, Tenzin and Rachel were still able to have a wonderful time, due in most part to Rachel’s mother’s tireless party organization. Cathy was able to pull off an excellent beach bash at the Huntington Beach fire pits; a small portion of that owed to Ashley’s pit-squatting abilities (Ashley arrived at 7:00 am to claim the best pit for the afternoon! Unfortunately, the clouds postponed the usual morning fire rush and Ashley appeared to resemble a homeless beach bum, sitting on the beach alone, wrapped in layers of blankets. We had originally intended to relieve her at 9:00am but a baby, cold medicine, antibiotic prescription, locked-in-the-trunk car keys, over-sized baby pool, and sleepiness delayed our arrival until around 11:00…what a trooper!).

It was about 82 degrees and sunny - traditional January through December weather – so I wore the customary beach garb: undershirt, t-shirt, jeans, jacket, shawl and blanket. Apparently, somebody needed to take over the homeless person role for Ashley. Needless to say, my fever was definitely kicking in and I was on my way out.

Cathy, God bless her soul, didn’t mind me leaving. I hope she knows how much I wanted to stay. Only about a quarter of the family had arrived before I needed to take off, so I missed out on a lot of the meet and greet with everyone. We’ll be back out in December, though, so long as Tenzin doesn’t bring home any more Ebola from daycare.

The rest of the week was pretty much the same. Rachel would go out and about during the day, Tenzin would get smothered in kisses from Grandma, and I would try to kill myself with Dayquil. No drinking with Steven, no Wahoo’s with Ashley, no golf with Steve, no gorging on Carne Asada with Bryce and Kelli...Hell, I didn’t even get my In & Out!

But to be perfectly honest, none of that really mattered. Seeing Ashley and Cathy’s reactions when we got off the plane were priceless. I had Tenzin on my shoulders as we walked out of the gate to the baggage claim and I’ve never seen two bigger smiles. It’s so good to get out there. Thankfully, this time, Ashley didn’t try to hide our son when we had to leave. Last trip we found a ransom note tied to a pacifier. We need to travel again much, much sooner.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I can't wait till Christmas...


Sorry for the last post about the rug. For those of you that don't know, I recently started a new blog that concentrates on technology, green tools, and design. Unfortunately, a recent head cold has placed me on a diet solely consisting of Benedryl, Sudafed, Alka Seltzer Cold & Cough, Claritin D (did you know you have to place your first born on collateral to by Claritin D in Ohio?) and Coor's Light, so it's easy to get two blogs mixed up when you're seeing triple. Check it out if you want.

In other news, Tenzin is almost healthy now. We've kind of kept a lot of you out of the loop concerning his health just so we wouldn't create excessive worry, but for a while there Tenzin sounded like a three-pack-o-day smoker. He's better now, but I'm afraid that the nicknames "Smokey" and "Wheezy" might stick.

Doctor's prognosis was baby asthma. Nothing to be overly concerned about, but something that did need immediate attention. We now have him on a nebulizer (see: expensive air mattress pump) and a steroid.

In the beginning, the nebulizer treatments weren't exactly welcomed. You're basically spraying evaporated medicine in to your child's face for about 20 minutes. The first two treatments consisted of me holding Tenzin's arms to his side while holding the gas mask near his face. Although he cried quite a bit, I think it his mom was the majority tear-holder.

Without too much worry and concern, the doctor hinted that we could also perform the treatment at night and during naps. Although it wasn't as successful as we had hoped, I now know that if there is an emergency and we can't get Tenzin to rise from his slumber, a nebulizer wakes him up (immediately) from any deep sleep (and keeps him up and up and up...thanks, Doc).

Fortunately, the treatments are almost over and we'll no longer host the baby pharmacy that is our bedroom. The steroid was completed yesterday and aside from a little back acne and punches through the nursery drywall, I didn't see any noticeable changes in Tenzin's demeanor(that baby has some major rage issues).

On the flip side, we leave for California tomorrow and I'm interested to see how much fun it'll be to fly with pumps, hoses, and electrical equipment; we might as well wear fake beards and green headbands. Of course, I've never been the smartest flier. I'm always the guy that puts on the button-fly jeans, steel-toed boots and cuff-links the morning of a flight, not realizing in the slightest that I'm adding four extra hours to my security screening. However, I am proud to say that I have no shame in dropping my pants in public and believe the entire C Concourse has, at one point in time, seen my boxers. Unfortunately, they're my boxers that have bearded men in headbands on them, thus adding to the circle of wanding at the screening station.

So as you can see I'm looking forward to California, just not the "getting there" part. Pray for us and our Sherpas (who will be carrying our 3000 lbs of gear needed to food, clothe, and shelter a baby on a four day trip).

PS Props to my wife for bleaching and sterilizing the entire house, doing the laundry, watching our son, cleaning out the truck, changing the bed, and organizing packing lists for all four of us (the diaper bag is, in its own way, an entity). This was all done on Wednesday. In 9 hours. By herself. With Tenzin in the house. Does anybody know where I can buy a Meth drug test kit?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oops I crapped my pants....

From the Website:

Imagine this: You are dating someone new. He/she invites you to a romantic, home-cooked dinner at his/her place. After dinner, the curry he/she took the time to make for you is not sitting well. What do you do?

Imagine this: Your son is 9 months old and has consumed nothing but pureed mixed vegetables and cantaloupe for the last six hours. In addition, the tab on his diaper has come loose during a nap and is now hanging from his hip like a gun holster. You've already showered, shaved and dressed for work, but find yourself residually nauseous from the head cold HE brought home from daycare. What do you do?

All things considered, I know the product is a gimmick given it claims to form a "translucent seal" over your business, but if they made it for infants I can honestly say that I would have tried it by now.

Some of them have been that bad.

Rachel's taken a lot of the burden.

I love my wife.


We didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater (what the hell does that mean?), but we did put him away with his toys.

Thanks to Uncle Chris for snapping this CLASSIC 4th-o-July picture.

I don't know about that Mickey, but it looks like he's up to no good.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dads on film...

I've decided that you could look at the following picture in one of two ways:

Option 1 - The dad - like me - finds situations like this funny and decided tossing his child into the air would make for a hi-lar-i-ous photo. A friend - not a spouse - snapped the pic, thus causing quite a stir in their household upon its discovery. Dad was wrong, pic was not funny. As a result, father promised to never toss the baby again, nor be so dumb as to capture such incidents on film.

Option 2 - The baby is from the Matrix. Dad tried to hold on to baby, but baby's mad Neo-like skills took over. Look at that baby float away!

Although Option 1 is pretty likely in our household, how cool would it be if Option 2 happened?

"You are the One, Tenzin James. We must go see the Mommyoracle."

I need to see if Rachel has any 21 pound test fishing line at home. We're going to take the You Tube movie to a whole new level.

Sing it with me...."Our House..."

Another quick post for you. I did a little house shopping today.

The House: Here.

The Numbers: 5% down on a 30 year fixed @ 6.7% = $459,761 per month.

Can I borrow a couple of bucks?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Partisan Books for Kiddies

I was working today (not a word, Deena!) and I stumbled upon this book.

I had written a super-long post on the many reasons why I find books like these HORRENDOUSLY DEPLORABLE, but it turned into a bunch of political hoohah so I deleted it. Instead, enjoy the summary of what would have been my post:

a) Kids are pure and innocent.
b) Why in the hell would you want to expose your kid to politics before they absolutely, positively need to?
c) I'm afraid of raising an Alex P. Keaton.
d) Tenzin poops a lot.


Oh, and we're heading out to California on Friday. Looks like we're showing up one week late. Had we flown out 6 days earlier, we could have gone down to Laguna Niguel so Tenzin could see his first train.

Skybus Deals Are Back!!!!

For those of you in select cities, Skybus just posted a whole bunch of new $10 flights. Looks like we're going back to California in February, too.

All in all, after taxes and airport fees, it works out to roughly $84 round trip for two people. You can't beat that.

And for anyone concerned about flying a start-up airline, Ashley (Rachel's sister) has already flown without incident. Their was a slight concern about the flight attendants, considering they're slightly younger than most, but that comes with the territory when they receive a mandatory $7 per hour (plus commission on the "perks" they sell.

Anyway, if you're looking for a cheap vacation, it's a great way to go!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tenzin's Friend Lauren

Tenzin's friend Lauren ("Tiny" according to her doctor) is a feat of genetic engineering. At 6 foot 3 and 235 pounds, we're anxious to see how she'll perform on the women's ultimate fighting circuit.

Seriously though, at just a month older than Tenzin she is now a little over 27 pounds and 30 inches tall, thus placing her in the top 97% of height and weight. Surprisingly, her dad has yet to put golf clubs in her hands (I think out of fear that she'll out-drive him off the tee!).

Anyway, we just can't believe how much she is growing, so I thought Chris and Deena might appreciate some help putting it in to perspective.

She's really quite small if you compare...

She's weighs as much as:

.135 Tom Cruise's
.027 Male Polar Bears
19.2 Breast Implants
72 Hockey Pucks
1.91 Spider Monkeys
432 Human Eyeballs
.002226 African Elephants
.024 Right Whale Testicles
.245 Jennifer Anistons
31.4 Cans of Soda
.157 Kegs of Beer

And she's as tall as:

.3529 Shaquille Oneils
.00171 Empire State Buildings
.128 Small Intestines
.0005 Golden Gate Bridges
.092 Weinermobiles
.0635 T-Rex's (Dinosaur, not the band)
.428 Giraffe Necks

In case you want to know how much of you come in each of the aforementioned items, check out the Weird Converter.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Zippity Doo Dah

Happy Independence Day!

OK, so I might have been born in Ohio, but I’ve never been to a Doo Dah.

What’s a Doo Dah you ask?

Basically it’s like a mobile Comfest; same hippie intent with added doses of motivation, paper maché, and ridiculousness.

Funny fact…I never knew that Doo Dah abstention was a sin but apparently (according to everybody I spoke to), “How in the hell have you [I/we] never been to a Doo Dah Parade before?!?!?” I took this to heart, considering the horse’s mouth was our 8-rum-and-diets-deep-neighbor-from-Boston. Did I mention this was 11:00 am?

Sorry…I always meant to attend, but the wifey and I are usually still hungover from Comfest this time-o-year. Fortunately for us, we now have a certain little someone that puts us to bed early and makes damn sure we’re Amish by the crack of dawn.

Today, thanks to little Hezekiah, we were up before the barn-raising with a whole lot of nuttin’ to do. After dishes were done and coffee was made, we looked at each other in amazement as the house…get this…hummed silently. The local parades weren’t sparking our fancy and I’ll be damned if Doo Dah wasn’t starting till 1:00, so Doo Dah it was.

We arrived about two hours early, a feat unheard of in usual situations. Fortunately for us we had no preconceived notions of even showing up, so it was easy to be on time.

The streets were surprisingly bare upon arrival and I was beginning to think that this year’s Doo Dah was a bust. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

About a half hour before the parade, the crowd started forming. No big deal. Few people here, few people there. Then the Southwest crowd started showing up. For those of you who’ve never flown Southwest before, I’ll explain it like this. The Southwest people are the people that show up 5 minutes before a flight. Right before the initial boarding call these same people stand right in front of everyone else, thus impeding their voyage to the boarding lines and slowing down early-risers. A small minority (with boarding passes CLEARLY stating “C”, will also join the line in hopes of a jerk-free queue and a consequential “cut” in line. Unfortunately for them, I am not one of these people.

Queen Spray-On and Captain Sleeveless (not their real names, but obvious Southwest frequent fliers), showed up five minutes before the parade with their two Campbell’s Chunky cans in tow. Their friends, obvious to my disdain, suggested that maybe RIGHT IN FRONT OF US was not a good place to camp their Ford Excursion behinds, but being Ohioans, they didn’t seem to think the event called for a democratic vote. Rachel, acting as my Zen harness, quietly slipped me a verbal Prozac and calmed me down.

Regardless, the damage was done and people followed their lead; all flights were boarding and the cattle herd was underway.

I would go on about the orange pelts, but I’ll stop it here. By the way, are Mike and Henry adorable or what?

My point is this (do I ever really have one?): why am I upset that Downtown Columbus, a once a horrible, blah blah blah, nothing-to-do metro area grew into a party too bounding at its britches? Example: ComFest was out of control insane, bordering on where’s-my-wallet-scared in both size and mass, but amazingly, still fun nonetheless. Now Doo Dah, a once financially exhausted event, has taken off to the point that the country club set now surfaces to see how the other half lives? Part of me is insulted, the other part appreciates all the hard work these people have put in over the last few decades to make these events so fun (as well as wonders how I can be insulted, considering this is my first year).

Anyway, an EVENTFUL parade was coming to an end and we had a very grumpy baby in desperate need of a nap. While I pondered various questions, like why we couldn’t revoke the freedoms of Southern cattle, we passed a fire truck loaded up with some of Columbus’ finest. Not ever one to miss a good photo op, I politely asked the firemen if we could trouble them for a shot. Without even thinking twice they scooped Tenzin up. Do we need a picture at the front of the truck or the back of the truck? All of them or us included? Hold on to him or in the Flyer? How old is he? What’s his name? Do you guys live down here? He’s a cutie!

I’ve dealt with firemen before (imagine me, six years old with a pack of matches) but never as a parent. You could see that mini-citizens like Tenzin are what these guys live for. Although it was the Doo Dah parade, far beyond the reaches of suburbia, holidays like this happen solely because of these men and women.

Left wing or right, politically motivated or not, these people are the glue that binds. We began to leave early, but were quickly reminded why we came. If anybody knows anyone in Engine House Number 1, tell them I said thanks.

Yes...that's plaid shorts, Hawaain shirt, tiedye onesie, and newsboy cap. You're just lucky we took his bandanna off.

By the way, here's the link to the Kodak Gallery of the today's festivities. The You Tube channel (in the links section) has also been updated.

Simpson's Avatars!

In honor of the new Simpson's movie coming out, you can now create your own Simpson's avatars!

Apparently we're sad Simpson's. I have no idea why the color keeps inverting, but I need to go get ready for the DooDah parade.

So blue we stay.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Dramatic Baby

For the love of all things holy!!!

Hasn't the dramatic chipmunk phenomenon jumped the shark yet?

Oh well, I can't help it. This one made me laugh:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Babies are Liars!!!

Original article in The Daily Telegraph.co.uk

Babies not as innocent as they pretend
By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 01/07/2007

Whether lying about raiding the biscuit tin or denying they broke a toy, all children try to mislead their parents at some time. Yet it now appears that babies learn to deceive from a far younger age than anyone previously suspected.

Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.

Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.

Following studies of more than 50 children and interviews with parents, Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth's psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.

Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents' attention.

By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques, such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.

Dr Reddy said: "Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.

"It demonstrates they're clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect. This is essentially all adults do when they tell lies, except in adults it becomes more morally loaded."

She added: "Later it becomes more sophisticated by saying, 'I don't care' when threatened with a punishment - when they clearly do."

Dr Reddy thinks children use early fibs to discover what kinds of lie work in certain situations, and also learn the negative consequences of lying too much.