Thursday, March 31, 2005

Split Personality

A package arrived for me from today. It contained *Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting* and a Punisher graphic novel.

Like to see what the profile on me makes of that...

Two In A Row

Another ten hour sleep last night. Woo!

Sofi's over her cold. I'm not over mine.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

New Record

8 PM to 6:45 AM, baby. Ten and three-quarters hours. I slept from around 11 to 5 - waking up at 5 was almost Pavlovian. "Why isn't Sofi crying?" I wondered.

Sofi fusses when I use the computer. Hey, I'm holding you, what more do you want?

Oh well. Gotta go.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Baby Doesn't Like The Chair

The baby chair is blue plastic, with a padded back. It does not look comfortable. The baby chair straps into the adult chair. The baby straps into the baby chair. We can feed her from this position. I feed her the bottle. Two ounces of nursery water, warmed for twenty seconds in the microwave, four scoops of formula, shaken not stirred. The baby plays with the straps. She tries to hold the bottle, pushes it out of her mouth. She fusses. I return the bottle. She still fusses, bleating around the rubber nipple. I stop giving her the bottle. She still fusses. I unstrap her. I lift her from the chair. The crease at the back of her ankle catches on the plastic lip. She screams. I am ashamed. "That chair is evil," I say to my wife. To the baby's mother. "Is the cut deep?" she asks. "It looks deep," she says. The baby continues screaming as we administer: the soap and water, the neosporin, the band-aid. "What are you doing?" I ask. "Don't touch the band-aid there," I say. The baby screams. "It's okay," my wife says. The baby's mother says. "It's okay." It's not okay. Later it will be okay. Right now the baby is screaming and I am ashamed.

Been reading a lot of flash fiction. It actually didn't go down quite like this. Anyhow, we're all fine now. How are you?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Cooking Interfaces

I do most of the cooking around here these days, almost all of it from *The Best Recipe* and *The Quick Recipe* cookbooks. I'm cooking right now, a high roast butterflied chicken for Easter. I don't give a damn about Easter, but Cathy wanted something semi-special. It smells incredible. But here's the thing: our oven took a cue from the microwave people with its UI. It has a timed bake. I used the timer to cook the chicken halfway, and then turned it, and then set the timer again. What I didn't notice was that, like a microwave, it turned off halfway through. Arg. Honestly, I don't need all the bloatware my oven comes with. It just makes it harder to use.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Anonymous Post

Danielle has disabled anonymous posting so I can't comment on her latest entry.

I've been kicking around the idea of moving out of our condo, oh, for a year or so now. But now I'm scared. What if we end up with Bickerson neighbors?

And, scarier thought, what if we're Bickersons ourselves? Lately we've been arguing and swearing at each other every couple weeks or so...not sure if our neighbors can hear it or not...are we on the road to becoming Bickersons? And looking back on myself as a 15 year old, if I was my father I'd probably have done worse things to myself than throw my stuff all over the front lawn. I probably would have smacked myself around some.

I don't think Danielle reads this blog, anyhow, though.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Missed The Sleep Window

One of these child-sleeping books I've read says that if we don't get to sleep after a certain amount of being tired, a "second wind" kicks in, we start producing epinehprine, and we stay up. This is what causes those "babies get upset when they don't get ot nap" phenomena.

After I read this, I noticed that it seems to be true of me. Was very sleepy around 9 tonight - decided to watch Scrubs - and was then awake. And then Sofi woke up, and I tended to her, and now I'm more awake.


Friday, March 18, 2005


I've decided to prolong my life.
Mark tells me that happens when you have kids.
Maybe that's it - or maybe it's that I'm 35, half of our Biblical three-score-and-ten, and I'm suddenly realizing, "Holy crap! The cup's half empty."
Or maybe it's a sudden self-reprogramming. My PE coach in seventh grade told us exercise would not prolong our lives. "We have a certain genetic lifespan built in," he said. "You reach it and it's over. All exercise can do is make the years you've got better." I don't know why, but I believed him and continued more-or-less believing him up until a while ago, despite the big piles of research that suggest the contrary. One day I noticed that I believed something incorrect, and here I am.
So after a brief spate of research - research being typing various keywords into Google and seeing what I come up with - I've got my new life extension plan:
1) More antioxidant foods. I'm shocked to learn that taking vitamin supplements doesn't seem to work. At least there's no evidence that it does. So there goes my plan of eating crap food but taking lots of vitamins. So: strawberries and bluberries on cereal or for desert; skipping the Friday bagel days at work and continuing with my multi-grain cereal; eat a lot of the free fruit they have in the kitchen at work; green tea instead of coffee; red beans or broccoli or red onions with dinner; boom! Antioxidant city.
2) Less sleep. Correlation isn't causation, I know, but studies have shown that those who get six to seven hours sleep a night live longer. Can't hurt, right? Unless I get cranky. Ok, I probably won't attempt this until Sofi's sleeping more consistently.
3) Exercise. Time to break out DDR again. Question: do I buy a new Playstation or do I get the Xbox version? Decisions...
4) Vitamin C. Even though studies *haven't* shown, can Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling be wrong?

Sunday, March 13, 2005


So Mark Nau found a mortality table, pretty much just like I was describing way back when. So here's the top 3 causes of baby death:
1) congenital abnormality
2) motor vehicle accident
Which is actually kind of encouraging - it means as long as my car seat's installed correctly, and I resist the urge to kill my own young, Sofi's got a real good chance of seeing 2.
Interestingly, SIDS isn't even in the top 10. Maybe that's because SIDS education is so prevalent these days...or maybe it's because SIDS was never really that big a deal...?

Side note: flying with kids is easier than flying without them: you get on the plane first, they give you an extra seat if one's available, they're all really nice. If you're flying and don't have a kid, you may want to rent one.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


I was pretty intimidated taking Sofi on her first flight - what do we do with the infant seat, how do we get it in the cab then on the plane, what if she cries, all that. Turned out it went pretty smoothly, and the baby got us preferred treatment from the flight attendants. One thing I'd do differently is first stow my bags in the overhead compartments, then buckle in the child seat. Ended up walking halfway down the plane to find a place to stow our bag, realized it was too big and then had to swim upstream with the oversize bag in hand and have the attendant check it.
We're flying back on a Sunday, so this time around I don't expect them to have extra free seats. Oh well.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Cathy finally caved and agreed we needed to let Sofi cry it out, mostly because it's gotten to the point where sometimes almost nothing we do gets her to calm down. So, two nights ago, we put her in her own room (using a bassinet because I didn't have time to disassemble and reassemble the crib after work, before her bedtime) and we did the "check on her every five minutes thing". I guess the idea there is you're continually reassuring her you still exist, even though you're not picking her up or anything. We'd re-insert the pacifier and pet her and shh her, but wouldn't pick her up or feed her. She cried for 45 minutes the first time, then around 20 minutes two hours later, then 10 minutes two hours after that.
I thought we were in trouble - she spits the pacifier out, she gets upset, she starts crying - I was afraid the pacifier had become a drug, and that until we'd weaned her from the pacifier we'd be getting up every couple of hours to put it back in again.
But last night we put her to bed (I moved the crib to the nursery - it wasn't as big a deal as I was dreading - although I did have to take it almost completely apart again, at least I didn't have to assemble the shelf or attach the springs again) and she slept the whole night! I'm actually pretty blown away. Maybe when we were co-sleeping we were waking her up with our tossing and turning. Maybe the strange blackout we had around 7:30 last night somehow calmed her down (it suddenly got very quiet, a quiet I hadn't heard in Los Angeles...ever). Maybe after the bassinet her crib seemed wonderful.
Hope she does it again tonight.
This would have been an opportunity for me to get some much needed sleep - the last week or so has been like another mini-crunch - but no, like an idiot I found myself playing Escape Velocity: Nova until 3 AM. More on that in my other blog.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Co-Sleeping Problem

It's 4 AM, and I've been edged out of bed by Sofi, and I don't dare try to slide her back to the middle, because what if she wakes up again and resumes the half-hour crying jag she started at 2:30? (It was a bad one, folks. Normally she'll fuss a little around 3 and we'll pop the pacifier back in and she'll go right back to sleep, but with this one nothing seemed to help. And of course Cathy and I started snapping at each other as our various attempts to calm her down didn't work. We did manage, finally, with me jiggling and Cathy shhhing and manning the pacifier. Teamwork!)
We're taking her up to Oakland next week, to see her grandparents and so I can go to the GDC. After that, we'll try to break her of the co-sleeping habit.
Cathy's posted more photos -- -- from the brunch after Rich & Wendy & Joey's baptism. As you can tell, we spent more time taking photos of Sofia than mingling. We never were too social.