Friday, September 28, 2007

Note to parents...

Letting you child walk around his room without a diaper is cute...

Letting him play with the radio is still, in fact, cute...

Realizing that all of his books are stored underneath said diaper, then realizing why diapers are invented...priceless.

If anybody is looking to purchase 10 children's books printed on 100% organically-died yellow paper, we have a stock for you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Birthday Boy...

PS Happy Birthday, Dad....

We couldn't afford much for your special day, so we got you some namesake (thus, the reason why we couldn't afford much).

Was he every really that small?

Scary Puppets, Grandma's, and vertical leaps...

Well it’s been a while, so we have quite a bit of news to report (not really, but I’ll try and stretch it out).

First of all, Tenzin’s teeth are still invading his gums with shock-and-awe strength. His two bottom teeth are completely exposed, with four additional top teeth jockeying for position. Needless to say, he is gnawing on anything and everything he comes in contact with, including but not limited to, his mother.

Yes, Rachel’s arms look like she walked into the middle of a miniature horseshoe game, with little purple half moons adorning her side, from tricep to lower neck. Only a year-and-half to go until we can (properly) yell at him. Our little hyena.*

In other news, we actually (holy s*&@!!!) had some spare time this weekend, so we headed down to Grandma F’s for a visit.

[Odd times and puppets at the "Old Time Clifton Days" on the way down]

Smoking camel puppets?

Cookin' with Alf dolls?
Where are we?

Over the last year, we’ve had a lot of good family time, but it always seems like it’s conditional of the event at hand - we’re either at somebody else’s house celebrating a holiday, at our house staying in, at somebody else’s house with their child, etc. We never really have/had time to sit back and just take everything in. Maybe it’s just because Tenzin is growing so fast, but this time really made me pause and reflect.

My grandmother recently celebrated her 91st birthday (clapping is OK, go ahead) and although she’s getting older, she doesn’t age for me. Grandmas are always Grandmas. Grandma’s house is Grandma’s house. Same linear sounds, smells and looks since I was a kid, regardless of Jim or Vicki’s branch of the tree. It’s a fixed combination of sites and smells, a mathematical amalgamation of ham, fresh cut grass (summer), burning wood (winter), short-hair carpet, fresh baked bread/pies, fuzzy couches, old wooden chairs, light perfume, smiles, pictures…definitely pictures…over the last 30 years, I can’t count the number of times I’ve checked out the picture walls for hours on end, amazed at where we are and where we’ve been. Grandpa Marx in a kilt [correction: Great Grandpa Winn], dad in his Guard uniform, Mom’s senior year in high school, Grandpa Fleming holding me, Uncle Tim with an afro, Uncle Ron in his Navy duds: it’s all of this, bundled up into some weird feel/thought/memory I can’t explain.

Maybe Sunday was just another picture wall…

As I stared out onto the back sunroom --the same sunroom that cost me a toenail at the ripe age of three-- I couldn’t help but smile as Tenzin (at about DEFCON 4 on the teething scale) meticulously taste-tested each individual clothes pin within reach. These are the same clothes pins I played with as a child, stored in the same apple bucket, in the very same sun room I once played in.

Considering I can’t go a day without someone reminding me that I had the exact same curls/shape/hair color/expressions as Tenzin (it’s unfortunate buddy, but I am your future), it was an odd mirror-like reflection that afternoon: Grandma was still Grandma, talking to Tenzin like I remember her talking to me, Uncle Don was still unavoidable in the tickle department, and the house still smelled of ham, pie and Windsong.

Oddly enough, while my son had “technically” done a-whole-lot-of-nothing (other than check the moisture content of 30 year-old clothes pins), I couldn’t have beamed any prouder. It was an amazing moment, one of the amazing moments where you need absolutely nothing to happen as a parent --nor understand what’s going on your head-- but you still, for some reason, sit back and know that something amazing just occurred. It is a moment of sober, smiling calm I will never forget.

On a sidenote, a bit of advice for you parents out there: If you ever want to keep a toddler busy for hours on end, give them a bucket of water and a paintbrush. They will have your driveway covered in no time, then cover it again, and again, and again…

If the day in the sunroom lit me up, you can imagine how I felt last night when Tenzin stood on his own for 8 seconds straight. You should have heard me…by the sound of my voice you would have thought that he was about to fall down a flight stairs, like a prepubescent boy on a hilly rollercoaster.

Rachel was out running errands while Tenzin and I played on the rug. We’ve tried this standing thing plenty of times, but Tenzin’s version of standing looks like Daddy at his bachelor party in Vegas (thanks, Jared!).

Picture Elvis dancing on rough seas….older, chubbier Elvis….on pills...with poopy pants.

He’s got a bit of stuntman in him, because he’s perfected “the fall.” He knows where to put his bracing if he’s falling forward (usually), and how far to stick his butt out if he’s sitting down (almost always), but like most things, there’s the variable for BOOM! For instance, the last 6 seconds of this video:

Back to the story at hand…

It was sooooooo odd seeing him standing. It’s kind of like seeing a woman driving: you know they’re capable of doing it, but I’ll be damned if it ever looks natural. For what seemed like hours he just looked at me, wobbling at the waist and gasping deeply. I think he was as excited as I was. And funny enough, he didn’t fall because he lost his balance. He just politely sat down as if to say, “Show’s over.” That’s a baby’s way of saying “break out a camera…go ahead…try as you might, you know I’ll never do this again.”

And so the story goes. After a frantic call to Rachel extolling the virtues of our genius archanthropus, we practiced…and practiced…and practiced, awaiting Rachel’s return. We were going to do a little song and dance, maybe a high-kick New York Broadway number, followed by some soccer juggling, clogging, rollerblading and tightrope walking (on stilts).

But alas, as she walked through the door, his body returned to its Las Vegas Daddy state; limp at the knees and drooling. Try as we might, he was done for the day and the show was over.

I’ll do my best to get some of this on video, but I’ve already explained Murphy’s parenting laws.

Hopefully there will be more to come!!!

*Fun Fact: The hyena tops all in jaw strength. This animal has an ability to digest bone and extract nutrients where no other predator can, and to do this nature gave it incredible strength to get into even the largest of bones, like the femur of an elephant!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Can't take you anywhere...

Tenzin was all pumped for last Saturday's Buckeye game against Washington. Uncle Jared bought him an awesome new jumpsuit, the hotdogs were on the grill, he was all set for the tailgate!

Unfortunately, the little man had a bit too much to drink.

[Click for bigger]

I'd show you more pictures from that day, but I'm a little embarassed. It's never good when your ten month old sets his first dumpster on fire.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Captain Gigglepants, Esq.

Keeping with my belief that Tenzin is a superhero, Rachel and I recently discovered his kryptonite...our son's only weakness appears to be fake sneezing. Upon hearing a fake sneeze, Tenzin starts giggling uncontrollably. Said giggling will intensify with increased fake sneezing. If giggles get loud enough, possible toots may occur. There is no guarantee that those toots might be dry.

Enjoy [please disregard Rachel's orthodontics at the end...we'll save the tooth video for next time].

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The dawn of hand eye coordination...

I'm beginning to rethink my philosophy on video games in the household. This video is great, until the last part when it says "You Lose" in big letters. If I'm going to get Tenzin's golf career off the ground, this might be a viable means in which to start.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lil Conan O'Brien

Baby born with a full head of Elvis-style ginger hair

Last updated at 22:09pm on 6th September 2007

Every parent hopes their baby will attract admiring glances.

But adorable as she is, Katie-Lee Webster receives attention for only one reason - her spectacular shock of ginger hair.

At only ten weeks old she already has the flowing locks of a child several times her age.

Her mother, Stephanie Pleasance, said: "Most people when they see a baby say 'Isn't she cute?'. When people see her, they say "Look at her hair!'."

Katie-Lee's father, Danny Webster, added: "No one we've met has ever seen anything like it - we're forever being stopped in the street and asked, 'Is that a wig?'."

Read more here.

Slacker post...with pictures!!!

OK, so I've been reeeeeeeaaaaalllly slacking on the posts lately, but for good reason. Brandi, Jared, and Jared's girlfriend Erin were in town and we all know that when Brandi is in Columbus, our schedule is packed to a tee! So here's some pics to tide you over until I have some time to unwind. Jared and I are headed to a soggy Akron/OSU game tomorrow, so I should be ready to type come Monday (I allow for a day of rest after an OSU will be much needed!).

Tenzin getting ready to get smothered in affection.

Let the smooches begin.

Grandpa with two of his babies (one in the background, one being held).

Lauren can't decide if she wants to let him in or not.

Since she's walking, she might as well teach him how to read.

Brandi's on her flight back to Phoenix. Do you think he had a good time?

Tenzin...age 4.