Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lunchtime visit

I visited Autumn today at lunch. She giggled when she saw me. Then, we played in the mirror. There's a little bar, like a ballerina bar, with the mirror. It's about a foot off the floor, because it's for babies. Anyway, we sat there laughing hysterically at our faces in the mirror. Then, I rocked her to sleep. When I left her, she was dreaming about something or other in her little crib.


When I see her at daycare, I am struck by how tiny she still is. The picture in this post was taken with our Mac yesterday. She's tiny.

Random thought: close to 2 out of every 5 people on the planet are Indian or Chinese.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Her first sick day.

Autumn, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Last Friday, she got a flu shot. That's the first thing you should know. The second thing is that Rhona visits Autumn every day at lunch. On Monday, just before mom was set to leave, she got a call from the daycare. Autumn had thrown up and needed to be taken home. Mom left work and picked her up. I met them at home. She seemed fine, but we watched her all afternoon (with me trying to get some work done).

Not to get all sentimental and shit, but I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to make life go as smoothly as possible for Autumn. And she'll have countless days where she's sick, and not feeling well enough to go to school. On those days, I'll try to make things comfortable. Yesterday though, we just got a free afternoon, because she seemed fine.

So call it a day to call in well. I look forward to many more of those.

Nanny and Autumn

Nanny and Autumn, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Here is the other picture from Saturday when Nanny was over. Actually, I think this picture might be from Sunday morning, just before the family watched curling on TV. Either way, this is what she generally does now for the camera.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Nanny, Granddad and Autumn

Granddad and Autumn, originally uploaded by MRHames.

She's at the point now where she loves the camera. What you don't see, is the first picture I took of Autumn and Granddad. In that picture, she'll looking at Granddad. But she recognized the flash, and turned to smile. So I clicked again.

When granddad comes over, he generally fixes thing. Right now, we have this little issue with our heat. He took a look, and we decided things were good.

Next, the reason Granddad has time to fix things is that Nanny usually has Autumn.

Flu Shot, and a flipping reaction

Friday, we took Autumn for a flu shot. This is when they stick a needle about the length of my arm into her little tiny thigh. Someone once told me that it actually gets worse. At a certain point, she's going to equate the doctor with needles and pain. At that point, getting her into the door will most likely be a test of wills. I can't wait.

Anyway, there we were in waiting room #4. Autumn, all 16.4 pounds of her, is trying to roll over. I think she knows that rolling over thrills the peanuts out of us, because every time she rolls over, she has a huge smile on her face. It's like she's saying, "look my and dad, I can roll." I'm guarding her, and Rhona is waiting beside me. In comes the nurse with the aforementioned needle. I hold Autumn and prepare the inevitable moment when her thigh lets the rest of her know that it's been compromised, when all of a sudden, nothing happens. No sound. No cry.

She did, for a moment, stop trying to eat the paper she was trying to eat. You know the paper, it's that stuff on a doctors table that's like wax paper, but isn't. After a slight pause, she went back to the paper.

Where we felt the needle, I think, was in the sleeping portion of the story. After 13 consecutive nights of basically sleeping through the night, the streak was broken Friday night. Sleeping through the night entails not having to feed her. We might have to get up and flip her back on her back. Remember, she's a flipper these days. Sometimes she gets herself on her belly in the corner of the crib and gets stuck. Mom and dad have to come to the rescue, but she doesn't wake up.

On Friday night, she had to be fed. We chalk it up to the flu shot.

Coming soon, Nanny and Granddad come to hold Autumn and fix things.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Subliminal Advertising

I think, after once running a marathon, that I could give you about 20 reasons why you shouldn't eat at a McDonald's. You could watch "Super size Me", or you could simply not eat there because they are using sketchy advertising techniques to sell burgers on the food network. I watched this the other day. A guy who was watching Iron Chef America, and noticed a quick flash of red. His DVR recorder was slowed down. Take a look.

There have been a lot of studies on subliminal advertising over the years. Movie theaters apparently used to do this extensively, showing popcorn for a single frame. I don't think this was official policy, I think it's most likely a rogue brand manager. But, if you needed a reason to not eat at McDonald's, here it is.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Autumn, originally uploaded by MRHames.

True, this was taken last year. But, here's the thing: our camera is on the fritz. The shutter doesn't open fully when we turn the thing on. We're looking into it. We still have the two macs to take pictures. And we could go old school and take film shots. Either way, we have to solve this issue. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I've been tagged

Claudinho, over at a great blog called "sparking curious mind" has tagged me. Sparking is a blog I check often because he has a lot of great thoughts about advertising. Here at Autumn Created, I have posted about advertising and politics, but mostly I keep it to Autumn. Anyway, when you're tagged, you're supposed to write five things people might not have known about you. Here my five.

1. I figure skated until I was 13. Yes, I landed a double sow cow, but have no idea why it's called that.

2. For the longest time, I wanted to be a pilot. I realized later my stomach didn't.

3. In university, I had a call in sports talk show. In almost three years, the number of calls I got was 8. My partner though is now an on air Canadian sportscaster.

4. I played the drums in high-school. Still have a drum set in the basement of my parent's house. My dad often wonders when I'll take it home.

5. I hated curling for the first 6 months I did it. My parents signed me up when I was 16 and I thought socially, that my high school popularity would have a hard time taking that kind of blow. Plus, my first skip was an idiot.

I think I'll also do five about Autumn.

1. She loves the color yellow. It makes her smile.

2. She holds her breath when our dog Lucy licks her in the face.

3. She's had some spice. We place a little cinnamon in her apple sauce. Here's hoping she loves spices.

4. We're not sure if the cat likes her. The dog loves her. The cat, we're not sure of.

5. She's 7 months, and we have almost 1000 pictures of her taken with the Mac photo booth on our home computer.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Is 2007 the year?

This could be the year that people stop calling Global Warming a theory, and start seriously considering it a fact. There are countless things on the net one could look at to see the effects of global warming. This little picture show, in German, tells the story in such a dramatic way that I wanted to share it.


State of the Union

I watched parts of the State of the Union speech last night, in between watching the skills competition of the All-Star game. I must admit, there's some good solid audacity in the NHL to put their all-star skills competition up against the State of Union. Since it was covered on all the networks, and all the cable news networks, one would think most of America, which has seen 6 SOTU's to date, might have looked elsewhere. Especially since its easy to find clips of his speech. It's also easy to find other clips.

Below are two clips. One is a hilarious send up of the SOTU. Way more entertaining. Plus, the Democratic response is hilarious (and a sneek peek at some of the satire we'll see in the next two years).

However, before you watch the jokey thing, I should point this out: I stayed on to watch Jim Webb respond to the State of the Union. Each year, the networks allow a "Democratic Response". This year, they asked Jim Webb, the former Secretary of the Navy for Reagan to give the response. It was one of the best speeches I've seen a politician give.

Now, the Real democratic response. Spoken without the polish of a politician, and yet, with the passion that sometimes seems missing.

Autumn's report card #2

Here then, the long awaited part two of Autumn's report card.

I should point out that Autumn was there at the parent teacher conference, and while it was all positive, she was humble, staying quiet throughout the entire 10 minute meeting.

In all seriousness, it was a nice moment. We're a little family, and this is an important part of her life. Involvement in a child's education is the best way to ensure she (or he) gets a good one. I have some issues about education in this country, but that doesn't mean I can't or won't get involved in every aspect of her learning.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Parent Teacher conference

That's right. A little while ago, we had a parent / teacher conference at Autumn's day care. She was even given a report card. Yes, she was less than 7 months old. Still, we went to talk about her, and how she's adjusting to day care. The bottom line is, she's doing great. The parent teacher conference is all about us. About how we're doing. So, here, finally is her first report card.

This is the cover. Click on it to make it bigger.

Here's page one.

A highlight: "Autumn is right on target". I should add that this morning, she was rolling around like a little ball. Belly, back. Belly, back. She'll be crawling before we know it.

Coming tomorrow, page 2 of the report. A highlight: "Autumn is right on target".

Monday, January 22, 2007

Autumn gets bigger

Yesterday was her 7 month birthday. Yesterday morning, it really became apparent how much bigger she is.

I remember posting posting about her getting bigger. I also posted once about how she's my little heater. The little heater post was about how she would snuggle into me in our bed. She could get in close because she was so small, and she could tuck up under my arm. Yesterday morning, mom brought Autumn in to see me, as I slept in. She didn't fit anymore. She still laid down beside me, but she could get tucked in. Plus, she is a lot more squirmy these days.

I know there will be a lot of moments in our lives where I'll realize she's no longer not my little girl, so I don't want to dwell too much on this. But I will say, it was nice having her fit under my arm. I appreciated it. And I'll appreciate all the other little moments we'll have as she grows up.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

marriage vows

so you promise to love, maybe honor, stay with in the case of sickness and health, good times, bad times....but what about bad pants?

if you haven't yet promised yoruself to someone- you might give serious thought to spelling out your wardrobe expectations at the start of a committment/marriage.

Matt has been wearing a pair of trackpants (americans read sweatpants) since we met. Now, initally they were cool. Pretty standard stuff- black pants with a white stripe up the legs. I know you have seen the type on 3 out of 10 guys walking their dogs, running in your parks, maybe even renting a movie on a Saturday night at your local video store.

Fast forward five years and these pants are a bit worse for wear. And by this I don't mean they are full of holes or are threadbare. No- their fate is much worse for all of us.

they have shrunk.

and shrunk so more.

My husband is walking around in floods. And I mean BAD FLOODS.

Now in most cases, I look the other way when he walks out of the house in something less than the current fashions. But these pants kill me, there really is no excuse for them.

This morning as he put on his black short short (and tight!) trackpants, brown/greenish socks (fully visible due to the floodfactor), a navy jacket and nasty old dirty red ski hat - all i could do was laugh. I did ask him to wear a sign making it clear that I did not condone nor support this choice in active wear....but truly what can i do?

So, if you haven't committed yourself to someone- you might give serious consideration to included a clothes-clause in your vows. Either that or get a hooded jacket and a really big pair of sunglasses.

Friday, January 19, 2007

For Fun

Since we haven't posted in a while, thought I'd throw up a 'self-portrait', taken with the work computer. No additional commentary, except the ease in which we can take and share pictures now makes this such a great time to have a little one. Soon, we'll use that camera to catch her in video. It's gonna be fun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

winter hits hard, and it hurts

Indeed. It's winter in Buffalo. True, we were hit with a massive amount of snow back in what seemed like late Summer, but after the snow, relative warmth. But alas, with freezing temperatures killing the oranges in California, you just knew it was gonna get chilly. This morning, with the thermometer hitting 19 (now), it was Autumn's coldest day. Mom hooked her up in the baby bjorn, with hats, gloves, her snow suit and a blanket and took the girls for a walk, only to discover it was really too cold. And, methinks it will get colder.

It's indeed time to crawl up with a good book, snuggle, and wait it all out. So, stay warm (unless you're living in Hawaii or something) and read something good.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Aunt Tracey baby sits

So last night, mom and dad went to the Sabres game to watch them lose their third straight home game. There has been some whispers about the ice at HSBC Center being choppy. Passes don't appear as smooth, and the high flying Sabres don't seem that high-flying lately. Maybe it's just a simple mid-season slump. They could use the All-Star break.

Anyway, Aunt Tracey came to visit and babysit. It was nice. We appreciate it -- it's a long way to come. Autumn appreciates it. And Lucy certainly liked it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Earn it like Beckham

David Beckham is bringing his Spice Girl to the US. This is big. If you're reading this for the first time on this blog, then let me break the news: David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy (a team I hadn't heard of) for around 250 million over 5 years. Outside of the US, Football (Soccer) is a passion.

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” said Bill Shankly.

This is the passion he'll try to foster: this YouTube clip is of a pre-game anthem played before every Liverpool Game. Admittedly, Liverpool FC has been around for 100 years. But watch it (stay with it, and look for the tear in the Liverpool players eye):

The closest thing to this here is college football, but I would argue that a lot of the passion comes from the people attending the school. This is complete brand passion. Incredible.

I wish him the best. I'll consider going when he comes to Toronto. somehow though, I don't think I'll be alone.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Some new pictures

I took these pictures a couple of days ago. She was in a great mood.

Tabblo: Expressive Autumn

This is Autumn in an expressive mood.  ... See my Tabblo>

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Back in the Saddle again

I have been back at work six days now and I am just getting around to posting about it.
being back at work.
getting dressed in the morning.
working in my office.
coming in at 8.30 and staying until 5pm.
sitting at my desk, workin'

I can't say that I am super glad to be back at work and at the same time I can't truly say it makes me unhappy. There is a part of me that feels like i am on autopilot, I see an email, I take a phone call, i talk with a student and i respond. Sometimes it takes a minute, an hour, a day to remember what I am supposed to do- but i am getting back in the swing again. I am making progress, i am learning what happened during my maternity leave and I am catching up.

I don't have anything profound to say about being back at work. I enjoyed being at home and spending all day with Autumn. I will say this- regardless of your job working outside of the home is a hell of a lot easier than staying at home all day. Being a stay at home mom is wihtoutadoubt the hardest job there is. Sure, you might have a 20-40 minute window where your child is napping,but you likely need to use that time to throw in a load of laundry, change out of the clothes covered in spit-up, think about taking a shower, sit down and catch your breath, unhook the jolly jumper so you don't run into it everytime you pass through the doorway, something. There is always something to do.

Here at work, I am busy (don't get me wrong)- but it is somehow controlled busyness.

So, I am back. I will say this, I am excited to get paid again.
So, I guess it is good.
for now.
to get paid again.

for being back at work.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The message. White Lines. Classic rap tunes from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This is what gets them into the Hall of Fame. It's been 25 years since their first album, and they were the groundbreaking group that helped bring about rap. Some might think this was a bad thing, but when you listen to the message, you hear exactly that -- a message. Take a look. I think it still resonates. Even with the bad uni's.

Monday, January 08, 2007

on sleep (UPDATE)

Just last night I was lamenting that Autumn couldn't read. And what does she go and do? Sleep until 7:30AM.

Let me repeat that, 7:30AM. I was up before her. Now, mom did get up at 5:30AM and give her the binky, but everyone got back to sleep. It wasn't enough of a deal to even get Lucy up, who often takes the opportunity of an up baby to demand to go outside and do her business. So, essentially, I got a night's sleep.


Sunday, January 07, 2007


the books have differing opinions on the whole sleeping through the night thing. At 6.5 months, some of them suggest Autumn should be sleeping through the night. It's too bad she can't read then, I guess. Or even understand. Because we could show her the place in the book where it says she should be sleeping through the night and go, see?

Anyway, we're soon going to experiment with the whole letting her cry it out. In theory, it sounds good. You let her cry, she eventually goes back to sleep (or cries herself to sleep) and she stops waking up. The thing is, her cries break our hearts. Her little head, her red sobbing eyes. Not easy. The instinct is to make everything better. But the time is coming to give it a dervish. So we will. We'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Another freedom gone

In a signing statement recently, President Bush asserted the right to open any American’s mail, for any reason he choses, at any time, without a warrant.

Maybe this blog shouldn’t talk about politics. It’s about Autumn. Or about how the Buffalo Sabres beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I’ll counter with this: this is meant to capture the time Autumn is alive. And I think it’s a good time to take stock of her rights:

She doesn’t have the right to privacy in her mail.
She doesn’t have the right to Habeas Corpus. Meaning, she can be arrested and detained without hearing the charge.
She doesn’t have the right to a defined treatment. In other words, if she’s arrested, the current government says they will not torture her, but they are allowed to define what torture is. Thus, if they say it isn’t torture, it isn’t.

I should point out, Autumn is a US Citizen. Her dad isn’t. Her dad has even less freedoms, because along with all the above, he can simply be asked to leave at any time, for any reason. That's compliments of the Patriot Act.

Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday, Jan, 4. Will they muster the political will to take away some of the powers the current president enjoys? Consider this: Brian Higgins, my representative, voted to repeal Habeas Corpus. This was in a vote in which the Republican party had the votes to pass without his vote. He could have voted no and it still would have passed.

Strange days.

The Family

The Family, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Here they are, the girls. I've taken the referring to Autumn as "The Girl" in conversations. As in, "the girl didn't sleep a wink last night, she had us up 12 times." Or, "the girl had a really solid poop this morning". That kind of thing. Then my sister pointed something out to me. My mom had two sisters that lived in Brampton,Ontario with us. One sister had three daughters, the other three daughters and a son. After my sister came a long, that meant 8 girls and one boy. To my cousin Robert's chagrin, they referred to him as 'boy'. Not when talking about him, when talking to him. As in, "Boy, eat your vegetables." When I came along, I doubled the boy tally, but we were still outnumbered 8-2. So, they would occasionally call me 'boy'. Which I hated.

To me, there's a difference between calling Autumn "The Girl" when talking about one of her adventures. However, it's semantic. Thus, out of respect for what I hated when I was growing up, I'll work on using Autumn when talking about her adventures.

Friday, January 05, 2007

This is cool

Here's a site that offers you the chance to have a woman say whatever you want. She's not really a woman, she's a computer animation. And you can give her a man's voice. But if you want to hear a computer say something like "Autumn is the cutest baby in the world", then here's the link. Really. Have some fun. It's 2007.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


James Brown. Mr. Dynamite. The Godfather of Soul.

Not many people know that JB has a bridge named after him in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. "The James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge" Bridge was named by the rabid, petition-starting, funk-soul fans of the Yampa Valley. It was named while I lived in Steamboat and James himself came for the ribbon cutting of this simple, small, plain looking concrete bridge located west of town. I don't remember the bridge really 'spanning' anything- but if you are a recent college grad living in a ski town and working a mindless job(s) in a t-shirt shop- an impromptu James Brown sighting at 9am was cause for celebration (not to mention Bloody Mary's). The town lined up to catch a glimpse of James as he stepped out of his limousine to address the crowd with a solid "I feel Good!!!"

This YouTube video really is spectacular and was recorded at the T.A.M.I.(Teenage Awards Music International) show in 1964, James was 31 and following his appearance the next act was the Rolling Stones... Keith Richards has said it was the worst mistake of their lives to follow James Brown. Quite a performer. I seem to remember reading that he had three costume changes at his various funeral/wake/viewings. Papa's got a brand new casket. Rest in Peace.


It's 2007. I know this seems to come from the Department of Stating the Obvious, but it bears repeating, because sometimes I can't believe it. It's quint now, the memories of the year 2000. But if a new year is a time to look back, then when I think about my life 7 years ago, and my life now, it's hard to believe how different they are.

I live in a different country, one I am contemplating becoming a citizen of. I'm married to a wonderful woman, and we have a great little family. Autumn, the reason for this blog, is the cutest baby in the world. Her smile makes each morning better than the last one. And the way she makes her mom laugh makes each day better. Seeing Autumn with her mom, both of them laughing, making funny noises at each other is a sight I'm grateful to be lucky enough to see.

I read once that a pessimist looks at New Year's because they want to see it go, while an optimist looks to New Years' because they can't wait to see what happens next. I have no idea where I'll be when the clock strikes 2008, but I can't wait for the trip.

Hope everyone is having a happy new year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dad and Autumn at home

at home, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Dad is home with Autumn. We have some things to do, but the point is, mom's at work, and dad is home. Alone. With the little peanut.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


So, I found this this morning. (Scroll down to the middle). It's some of the new shots placed in Flickr, placed on this japanese web site.

That's cool.

Also, Autumn is to be found in the blogging baby baby shots today (you have to go a couple of pages in).

Hope everyone had a good new year!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A new year, a look back

Her first New Year's. In the first year of life, Autumn saw a lot of firsts. Just yesterday, the last day of the year, she wore shoes for the first time.

Her first Christmas was a whirlwind.

Her first trip on a plane made this shot possible.

Her first time at Daycare.

Her first Halloween.

Her first time eating solid food.

Her first snow storm, which happened in October!

Her first time laughing -- caught on video.

Her first shots (no pictures, who knew the needle would be so big?)

There are clearly so many other firsts littered in this blog. As the new year starts, we'll continue to show her growth, and her smile. She's really good at turning to the camera ans smiling. This has been a fun, though tiring six months. Last night, on New Year's Eve, a couple of tired parents hit the sack at 10:30. But, we're pleased to say, Autumn started the new year sleeping until 5:00AM. And that's all we can really ask at this point.

So, thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. And from our little family to yours, have a happy and prosperous New Year.