Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thanks again, granddad

This is Granddad saying bye. It was a job well done.

autumn granddad

When we called him to help us out with a sick peanut, he hadn't changed a diaper since Simon. Some 30 years. He was, in his own words, nervous about it. but we were in a bind. Autumn couldn't go to day care, and we couldn't take the time off. Well, that's not true. We could take all our vacation days looking after Autumn, and most likely, some working families do. But we tried something else. Calling on the retired dad.

And he came through. Also, I think he really enjoyed it. We sure did.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

On the mend

On the heels of the update from the previous post, here's a further update. She's a little weak. She can't lift herself up to stand, she just doesn't have the strength. But her appetite is back. She's smiling and laughing, and she has a way better color. She still looks tired, but that's to be expected.

We went for a little walk at lunch, Granddad pushing her along. We picked up some lunch supplies and came home and fed ourselves and Autumn. All told, I think she's through the rough part. Which is good.

A fever of 104

Updated below:

Yesterday, Granddad had a relatively easy day of babysitting. During the day, she slept. She tried to smile and be happy, but she mostly had heavy, sad eyes. The stomach virus that caused her runs is being fought by her body and it's sapping her strength.

It culminated in that 104 temperature reading at 6:30PM. Later, it broke when mom gave her a bath. At 10:30PM, it was a much more reasonable 101.

It's quite sad to see her like this. She's tired. The Tylenol helps. As does simple cuddling. At about 2:00AM, we brought her into bed where she slept, enjoying the comfort of mom and dad.)

It's been a rough week, and one we couldn't have managed with granddad Hames and Grandma Cadenhead. They both looked after her yesterday, while we sat at work wondering when she would be better.

Today looks more promising. And here's the thing: we couldn't have made it through this week without granddad. Not possible. And while he doesn't read this blog, I wanted to let the blog know, for the record, how much he helped. And we'll tell him in person tonight.

But I also think he had a good time yesterday with Autumn, who he occasionally calls "Little Fella". This morning, as I was getting ready to leave, he eagerly grabbed her to change her diaper. We could hear, via the baby monitor, that he was singing to her as he changed her diaper. And she was crying.

And that's a good thing. Because yesterday she was too tired to even care about a diaper change. Which she generally hates. So the fact that she's back to hating it is good.

Today, I think will be better. I think Autumn will get some good granddad time, and granddad will get some good "little fella" time. So maybe this whole stomach virus will end up being a good thing. A thing worth experiencing in order to have an unexpected experience.

Update: (10:15AM)
Just talked to Granddad. She had a huge - solid - poop! As you might have gathered, this is great news. We'll get you posted.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

sleeping on dad's shoulder

sleeping on dad's shoulder, originally uploaded by MRHames.

We talk a lot about first here at Autumn Created. Her first time crawling. Her first this, her first that. The other day, she fell asleep on my shoulder for the first time. I had just finished feeding her, so I was burping her. She tucked her head on my shoulder and fell sound asleep.

It's hard to explain how this made me feel. Of course my daughter would trust that my shoulder is a good place to sleep on. Of course she would feel safe there. Comfortable. You expect it. You think it. But when it happens, and she does fall asleep. It's the best.

It's a reinforcement that she does trust. That she does, and will find comfort in my shoulder. As long as she needs it, it'll be there. That's what this picture is saying. And while this wasn't the first time, it was shortly after. And that's worth a post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Smiling Autumn

Smiling Autumn, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Yeah, she looks sick. Doesn't she?

Well she is. Dad had to come home from work today at 10:00AM. He called in some troops though. Granddad Hames is here. He'll watch her tomorrow because she has to stay home again from day care. And yes, she has some crazy liquid poops... wait. I'm not supposed to talk about her bowel movements anymore. Ignore this whole post.

We'll let you know tomorrow how it goes on Granddad day.

Autumn standing

Autumn standing, originally uploaded by MRHames.

Yes, we got a new camera

This is a long post

UPDATE: Check this out, a remix of her interview.

This is a post about 60 minutes. It’s not meant to be political, more it’s meant to show the level of discourse that exists in the US. I used to really enjoy watching 60 Minutes. I thought they did a good job of picking stories and bringing them to our attention. A lot of my fond memories actually stem from watching 60 minutes after Sunday Roast dinners with my family. We ate, then sat and watched 60 minutes. I’ve had some problems with 60 Minutes in the past, but only the manner in which they frame the debate.

And while I've had some problems in the past, I still somewhat enjoyed the show. Sunday night though, they turned a corner. It’s not that Katie Couric is one of the journalists. It doesn’t really matter where you came from, it’s what you do when you get there that matters. I was willing to give Katie the benefit of showing us she was a journalist that asked the kind of questions 60 Minutes built on. On Sunday night, she had John Edwards and his wife on. They are currently newsworthy because she just announced that she had cancer, and he announced that he would stay in the race to be President. After some chit-chat, Katie threw this bomb:

Katie Couric:
Your decision to stay in this race has been analyzed, and quite frankly judged by a lot of people. And some say, what you're doing is courageous, others say it's callous. Some say, "Isn't it wonderful they care for something greater than themselves?" And others say, "It's a case of insatiable ambition." You say?

Here’s why it’s a bomb. The technique, “some say” is a callous technique because it doesn’t give the question context. It doesn’t let the person being questioned challenged the notion of the question. Take a look at the same question with context:

Katie Couric:
Your decision to stay in this race has been analyzed, and quite frankly judged by a lot of people. Howard Dean and John Kerry say what you're doing is courageous, others like say it's callous. They say "Isn't it wonderful they care for something greater than themselves?" And Rush Limbaugh says, "It's a case of insatiable ambition." You say?

I added the names to that to show how the dialogue would be different. Someone says, “It’s a case of insatiable ambition?” and Katie Couric quotes them on 60 minutes and demands a response?

It gets worse though.

Here’s a 'question' a little later in the interview:

“Some have suggested that you're capitalizing on this.”

In this one, she didn’t even give the flip side of this. She didn’t offer up the ‘some’ who don’t think he’s capitalizing on this.

This question can’t be address with a “who would be callous enough to make that suggestion?” Because Katie didn’t offer up a who. Only the vague some.

Alas, it’s worse still. In the late 90’s, while Katie was on the Today Show, her husband was suffering from Cancer. Katie stayed working, getting support from viewers and people on the air, who probably thought she was holding up well throughout the ordeal. Fast forward to Sunday night and she says this whopper:

“Katie Couric:
Some people watching this would say, "I would put my family first always, and my job second." And you're doing the exact opposite. You're putting your work first, and your family second.

Notice, it isn’t even a question. It’s a statement. The statement puts thoughts into the viewers heads. It no longer lets the decision that john Edwards made with his wife remain a private decision. It’s one that Katie thinks viewrs will judge, and judge harshly. Even though Katie essentially did the same thing.

Katie is suggesting that if your spouse gets cancer, you should drop everything. But, I guess, only if that everything isn’t host of the Today Show.

But that isn’t even the biggest problem I have with it all. Just listen to these statements. These are opinions that John and Elizabeth Edwards have to ‘answer’.

Katie Couric:
I guess some people would say that there's some middle ground. You don't have to necessarily stay at home and feel sorry for yourself, and do nothing. But, if given a finite – a possibly finite period of time on the planet – being on the campaign trail, away from my children, a lot of time, and sort of pursuing this goal, is not, necessarily, what I'd do.

Katie Couric:
Even those who may be very empathetic to what you all are facing might question your ability to run the country at the same time you're dealing with a major health crisis in your family.

Lest you people think this is a political post, it isn’t really. It’s just a comment on the moment in time in Autumn’s life. It’s a time I feel like 60 Minutes has officially jumped the shark. Not because they have the former Today Show host asking questions. But because she’s resorting to the tired “some say” line of statements. And that means, the place that I used to think of as important is now nothing more than a magazine show masquerading as journalism.

Monday, March 26, 2007

another sick peanut

This morning, at day care, a teacher accidentally caught Autumn's finger under a chair that she sat on.

Not a good start to the day.

Then, at 3:00, they call to say that she's vomited and she's pooping liquid. Now, before we go any further, I ask you, does this little girl look sick?

Me neither. Anyway. We're home. We're doing okay. We just ate an entire jar of sweet potatoes, and then pooped twice. How would I rate the viscosity? I would say somewhere in between solid and liquid. Runny, but not running away. Certainly not a solid walk in the park though. Okay, I'll stop.

Hopefully, we can take her to day care tomorrow and this is just a little hiccup. Stay tuned. And we'll have a picture drop soon.


we went swimming on sunday. first time in the pool for autumn. mom spent the morning looking for water-diapers and eventually we dressed got her dressed in her swimsuit (don't get me started on how cute she looked) ... we went off to the local pool. Mom and Autumn turned into the girls locker room while dad went to the boys- we met in the pool and although we were fifteen minutes early- we jumped right into swimming.

she loved it.

our swim teacher, Claire- a fourteen year old girl, kept telling us how wonderful it was that she wasn't wailing or screaming... we sang "the wheels on the bus" and jumped up and down for the windows part and side to side for the wipers part... this was the first time dad had sang this song... and truthfully i am not sure who liked it more- autumn or dad?

we took turns holding her and pulling her along in the water, she kicked her legs and occasionally splashed her hands. Claire brought in a couple of rubber fish (think bath toys) and after that... autumn just happily chewed on a nemo-look-alike and scooted around the pool with the help of her proud parents.

it was a wonderful 35 minutes.

there are times when juggling everything is hard, packing up and trying to remember all the STUFF that a little kid needs (bottles, diapers, toys, warm clothes, change of clothes, binky, binky, binky, stuffed animal, special seat for eating, food, chewing biscuit, wipes, tylenol, ....)- remembering all that stuff can be hard. inevitably there are disagreements and tensions rise... but even after the arguing, sleep deprivation, silent treatments, exhaustion and confusion - watching a gorgeous little girl in her frilly green bathing suit hold onto an orange fish and smile broadly at her mom and dad puts everything into perspective.

and what a wonderful perspective it is. i love you dad and autumn.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Overnight babysitters

There is good and bad in my parent's not living in the same city or country as me. The bad is that they don't have the chance to see as much of Autumn as they would wish. It's about every couple of weeks in person. They can see pictures of her here though.

But I mentioned a good part. The good part is that when they come, they stay overnight. Which, unfortunately for me, meant we had a few cocktails last night. I got silly drunk. And this morning, I was silly hungover. Still am a little. you could say I'm not at my best, and you wouldn't be exaggerating. Not one bit.

So thanks nanny and granddad for coming over last night. Staying the night. And getting up in the middle of the night when she cried. And letting me sleep in and work on this hangover.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The last soup night

Compliments of this guy, a really talented photographer. Click here to see other pictures. Soup night is a night our friend's house. It's the third Thursday of every month in the winter. It's a time to get together, catch up, and enjoy soup. We love soup night, mostly for the idea of bringing people together in the winter. Not formally. Informally. Come if you can, they say. Bring what you want. Stay as long as you want. Soup night in Buffalo, NY. You can't beat it.

Social Networking, Autumn's future

We're sort of older, Autumn's mom and dad. For us, the Internet is still something of a new thing. Meaning this: we didn't grow up with it. We grew into it. We grew into YouTube, and mySpace, and even Facebook!, which, if you followed the link, would have showed you that I am a member. I also have a mySpace page, and a channel on YouTube, but my point here isn't to show you that I'm adopting the technology, my point is to show you that Autumn will never have to adapt.

Autumn will never not know the internet. Autumn will never not know social networking. She probably won't have a mySpace or Facebook, because I think they will turn into something different. YouTube hasn't been in business for 2 years. In 2 years, when Autumn is thinking about the internet, who knows what will be around. Whatever it is, it won't be new to her. It will be like a TV is to us. Sure, there are newer, flashier TV's. But it's still a TV. To Autumn (and all kids born in the last couple of years), the internet will just be a TV. Nothing special. Nothing to adapt to. And that's kind of interesting.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

9 months

Yesterday, our little peanut turned 9 months. We celebrated by taking her out to the first restaurant she ever visited. (If you click this link, you can go back to one of the earliest times in which we took Autumn out. Not the first time, it seems we didn't blog about that. I thought we did, but I can't find it. It was a Wednesday night, at India Gate, for the buffet. We got the bill as soon as we walked in in case we had a code red. We didn't.)

So, as you can tell by the previous parenthesis, we took her to India Gate for the buffet to celebrate her 9th month on the planet. It's a time of reflection. Last night, we talked about some of her firsts:

Her first movie was Hollywoodland.
Her first restaurant was India Gate, and we were sitting in the very booth she sat in for the first time.

This time, while mom and dad gorged on excellent Indian Food, Autumn had some carrots, formula, and a little cereal she loves. She's getting teeth. There are two that are popping in at the bottom. It's all very exciting.

This hasn't been a really well focussed post. More reflective. But it's meant to mark, and note, that Autumn is 3/4 of the way to being 1.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

inside out and backwards

the mornings around here can get a little frantic sometimes. Mom has figured out a way to go three days without washing her hair (granted that third day is a bit sketchy)... so she doesn't take long to get ready, but she has a hard time getting out of bed. Now, it must be said that she gets out of bed at 2am and 4am when the girl starts wailing...but when 6 or 7am rolls around she can't get her feet on the ground.

hence the mad rush.

we do a good job of sharing the duties, Matt makes us oatmeal, I play with the girl or change her diaper, Matt unloads the dishwasher, I lay out the girl's clothes for the day. Thankfully, Matt gives me time to get dressed while he dresses Autumn.

With the baby monitor in her room, it is always fun for me to listen in as dad dresses her. There are squaks of pleasure, giggles, funny dad sounds and then screams when she decides she doesn't want to lay still anymore. But, thank god for dad getting her dressed... it gives me a chance to slather lotion on my face, brush my teeth, change my clothes five times and put deodorant on... but the best part is often yet to come.

we all meet again downstairs in preparation for leaving the house and it is at this time that I first look at what Autumn is wearing. She has a lot of cute clothes with flowers and snaps and buttons and getting her fully fastened is a job and half!

yesterday for example, she was dressed in a flowered turtleneck onesie with three snaps up the back and a pink fleecey pair of overalls with Peter Rabbit on the front... But something was a bit strange when I looked at her ...

her turtleneck was on backwards making it more of a v-neck snap up sweater and the overalls were on inside out. I need to say, there are times when Dad himself puts his clothes on backwards or insideout... but watching him dress up his little girl insideout and backwards is nothing but sweet. When I mention this to him- he always says the same thing... "You know, I thought it was weird, but...." In the end she went to school with the shirt on backwards (overalls were reversed before we left the house).

When I dropped her off at daycare I explained that "dad dressed her today".. the ladies laughed, but the funniest part was when I went to see Autumn at lunchtime - she was still wearing her shirt on backwards... there really was no need to change it.

thank god for our teamwork in the morning.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wow, that's a nice cable

So. We got cable tonight. 180 channels. Prior to tonight, we had 16. And that number included the few local public access channels. So we've basically added 160 channels. I look at that number and wonder.

Our plan, and we'll let you know how it goes, is to not have the TV on when Autumn is awake. We still want to read to her, and let her enjoy radio as much as we do. Funnily enough, this week's This American Life has a story about David Rakoff, a Canadian, talking about getting cable for the first time in a long time. It's a hilarious story. It's in the What I learned from TV stories.

I'm not sure what we'll learn. But we'll keep you posted. Us, and our cable.

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is Nanny and Granddad's 42 wedding anniversary. For 42 years, they've been a partnership that helped create three kids, and so far, one little grandkid. You could say that because of them, we have this blog. Well they are half responsible.

So happy anniversary mom and dad, nanny and granddad. Have a great day. Your love and respect for a each other is an inspiration to us all. We'll see you soon. Autumn says waa-da-wa. Which I'm pretty sure means happy anniversary.

Monday, March 19, 2007

4 years, no end in sight

Today is the 4th anniversary of the Iraq war. Four years ago today (the day after my birthday), the US launched a war of choice.

People who know me probably know where I stand on this war. What's interesting is that we mark 4 years today, and yet there isn't often a mark of the other war -- one that's been going on even longer.

Nobody marched for that one. No one did call in shows. The US media doesn't even seem to count casualties. Just so you know, the US counts 359.

But this is about Iraq. And this post is meant only to mark the date. For a point of reference, this war is 6 months younger than our marriage. It's 3 years and 3 month's and two days older than Autumn. It's gone on longer than World War II. It has cost a lot of money. Thus, the date is marked.

Best birthday gift ever!

A title like that better fulfill, right? We'll you be the judge. Below is my birthday gift from Rhona and Autumn. Last week, Rhona let Autumn do some painting. It's blurry because of our current camera issue, but on there is a baby foot and a baby hand, and Autumn's impressionist expression. (I just said those last two words in describing my 9 month old's painting -- I just might be one of those overbearing parents. We'll see).

Anyway, here it is. It's on the wall of my office. Autumn's art, framed wonderfully by my lovely wife. Best gift ever.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Canada: a small world

Canadians, when traveling to the US, are weary of the following situation. We're in a bar, or at a restaurant in the US, and it's discovered that we're Canadian. "Hey, you're Canadian", they say, "I know a guy from Canada. His name is Bob. He lives in Vancouver."

What pisses off a Canadian living in Toronto isn't that the American thinks Canada is a small town in which everyone knows everyone. What generally pisses them off is that the American probably has no idea how far away Vancouver is from Toronto. It's the basic lack of awareness of Canada that pisses Canadians off. And here's the thing: it's sort of pathetic.

Here's why. Canadians consume American culture and take an almost perverse pleasure in pointing out Canadians who invade said culture. William Shatner, Alex Trebek, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, that guy from Will and Grace... all Canadian. I once wrote an essay explaining that Canadians are like American's little brothers. While they grew up and moved out of their parent's house, Canadians didn't. Canada sort of pulled up a basement apartment.

Deep down it sort of bugs us that Americans think Canada is a small place where everyone knows everyone. But more so, it bugs Canadians because there is no reason for anyone to really know anyone. I was once in a bar in Chicago. The whole, hey, you're Canadian, I only know one other Canadian conversation came up. "He lives in Winnipeg." The guy said. If you look at a map, Winnipeg is a long way from Toronto, where I was living at the time., but I let him go on.

"His name is Kerry Burtnyk."

Now, you should know that Kerry Burtnyk is a big time curling guy. He's won 2 briers and been out there on tour for a long time. I've played him a bunch of times. Point is: I know him. And thus, I helped perpetuate the myth that Canadians know Canadians.

I am telling you all this because this morning I got a call from a friend of Rhona's. Melissa is the person Rhona went to see with Autumn in Florida. Anyway, it turns out Melissa was sitting at dinner in one of those Japanese Restaurants where they cook in from of you. They seat you with strangers and said strangers get to talking. Mellissa was seated beside a couple of Canadians, from Toronto. Which is where I am from. you can see where I am going. Toronto is a city of 2.5 million people. On a workday, it swells to 5 million. Thus, the simple fact that he's from Toronto, and I'm from Toronto means didly poo. At least it should.

Melissa knows one person from Toronto -- me. So, she say my name to a guy who I happened to go to school with, Hayes Steinburg. It should be pointed out that I haven't seen him for 10 years.

something is missing.

there is something really missing in my life right now. something i used to bring out on a daily basis, something i feel like i need, something i might actually be addicted to....

i don't have a digital camera.

it broke.

funny, my 35mm camera has been on the fritz for sometime and while i used to always question those who went to the digital side... i completely admit that digital just seems easier. I can see what i took and retake if inspired... i can send it to the camera shop for printing without packing up the girl in her carseat and trekking crosstown... i am digital girl now. all of our photos these days are taken by our I-mac camera (inside, posed and with the same background).

stay tuned... we are looking into a replacement.... but it feels like it is taking forever.

here is an image from this morning... if there is one thing i need more than a camera it is sleep... but note: she is fresh as a daisy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Yenst!

ides of march...sure, for many it brings up Caesar and Shakespeare or impending tax deadlines.. but for me it only means one thing.... Jenny's Birthday.

Happy Birthday Jenny! 34....sweet.

We all wish you a great day...a memorable night and a wonderful year. We are very glad you are in our lives and if (when) your path brings you back to Buffalo- we have your
end tables.

Love you-
Rhona, Matt, Autumn, Lucy and Romeo.

The family today

This is 7:10 PM on Thursday night.

To day care or not to day care

That's the question, right? At 8 months, and counting , we wonder a lot about day care. When we drop off little Autumn, and she waves bye to us, we wonder. Should we be figuring out a way to stay home more? To play with her more? Or should we carry on with working, and really taking advantage of the morning, the evenings, and the lunches we have with Autumn.

I'm sure that across the world, people wonder about day care. In countries outside of the US, the decisions are a little different. In Canada, for instance, you get the first year off. Rhona would still be home, and this post would be totally different. In the US, it's 16 weeks. We were fortunate to extend the time home by a few months, but she's still there. In day care.

It's easy to rationalize this away. How many people honestly remember things from the time they were under the age of 2? I have a hard time remembering stuff from when I was 5. So, she's getting socialization experience, and meeting other babies from all kinds of races.

But. And this is the biggest but. We're missing certain things. Like her first piece of art, which we saw on the wall of the daycare yesterday. What if her first word is said at Day Care?

It's my opinion that the best thing we can do for Autumn is ensure we're happy. We both have jobs we enjoy, and there's a lot of dancing and laughing that goes on at our house. We're not rich, but we're certainly not poor. And notwithstanding the way the middle class is being wiped out in this country, I feel like we'll do pretty well most of our lives. Money doesn't buy happiness, but not having money certainly can lead to a struggle. So that's one less struggle.

Leaving day care. Dropping her off at day care. And wondering if there's something we're missing. That being said, I'll pick her up this afternoon. And when she sees me, she'll smile a smile that takes up most of her little head. Her eyes will light up. Her arms will flail. My heart will melt. And I'll think, she's happy here, and she's happy when I take her out of here. What's not to love, right now?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

our curling party

The Sixth Annual Rhona and Matt Curling Extravaganza participants. Next year, you can be here as well. We'll keep you posted. And we'll have a few more pictures soon.

Autumn's first spring

Spring seems to have sprung in our little corner of the world. Yesterday the thermometer tipped to the higher side of 50. I think it says something interesting about where I am in life when I get excited about the thermometer being higher than my age.

Obviously though, this is the American style of measuring the temperature. It's the system in which freezing is bizarrely set at 32. Bizarre, until you think a little bit about these United States. Most of the country cares more about the top level of this temperature scale. Many of the southern states see 32 on rare occasions, but they understand fully what 100 means.

I'm sort of with them, when the temperature warms. When it's cold, I understand what zero degrees means in the Celsius scale. It means freezing. I get that. And even though Anders Celsius, the inventor of the scale meant for zero to be the boiling point of water, he finally relented and made zero the temperature in which water freezes.

And that makes sense. But what doesn't make sense is 16. When the temperature hits 16, I have no idea if I need a jacket, or I don't need a jacket. However, 62, the approximate corresponding measurement in Fahrenheit, makes sense. It means go for a walk. With the family. Because spring is here.

So, my point. I know spring is coming when I make the mental switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit. When I go from 1, 2 and even 5, to 60, 65, and dare I dream, 80 degrees. Meaningful numbers to me. Happy spring people.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Discover Math

This is my favorite personal little joke: my parent's, in naming me Mathew (one t please) were describing my future outlook on Math. Ew.

Thankfully, I wrote for a living, because I am not so good at math. Take this egg problem I read in Discover Magazine.

You have 9 eggs. One of them is heavier than the other 8. You have one scale and can make as many different groups of measurements you want. The fewest is 2. Can you explain why?

The thing is, this is a logic question, which I'm generally good at. But the simple thought of Math clouds my head. I hope that when Autumn starts school and needs help with her Math homework, this little glitch in my head won't stand in the way of me helping. And just for the record, while mom doesn't have a Math joke built into her name, she's not so hot at Math either. But we can both turn a phrase, so we'll help Autumn write great essays.

Anyway, I'll post the math answer a little later.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Curling on the weekend

It was a busy curling weekend. First of all, the team I predicted would win the Brier, won the Brier. Not exactly a surprise pick, but hey, I did pick 'em. It was an exciting game, and the result made my day.

Plus, it was the 6th annual Rhona and Matt Curling Extravaganza. A party dedicated to teaching people in Western New York to curl. This year, we had about 20 people learning to curl for the first time. After the event, we ate pizza, drank beer, and laughed. Soon I'll have some pictures. I promise.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


After drops

Not happy. But she gets happy quick.

Before drops

She's feeling better. But I'm about to give Autumn her little drops. I'll post that picture in a little bit.

Friday, March 09, 2007

This was funnier

So, we give Autumn baths all the time. And we can't help but marvel over how soft her heine is. You've heard the term "as soft as a baby's bottom", well, since we have a baby, and since I've had occasion to bath her, I can tell you it's soft. So when I saw this comic, it made me think of her. A lot of things in my life are going to make me think of her. I guess that's part of the greatness of having a little girl. Click on it to make it bigger:

Autumn in Dress

Autumn in Dress, originally uploaded by MRHames.

I was looking through some old shots and saw this. I feel like she looks like a doll in this. It was from September of 06. She was a couple of months old. And yet, she still pulled off a dress. You can see Autumn in there, but just. It's gonna be so neat to look back.

Autumn doing what she loves

Yes, with the help of that thing (which she loves), she can walk all on her onesie. When she hits a wall, or an object, she just keeps plowing through, which is often funny as well. But, mostly she'll just sit back and have the thing fall on her, which as you can imagine, gets upsetting. Still. She'd rather be walking. And really, on a gorgeous Friday morning, who wouldn't rather be walking?

Pink eye.

On Monday, we got a call from Day Care saying that our little girl had the runs. She basically exploded, and thus, she had to go home. Tuesday mom stayed home, changing diapers at a record pace. Tuesday, dad began to feel like three pounds of poop in a two-pound bag. In other words, not good.

When dad arrived home on Tuesday, he went to bed, staying in bed from around 5:30PM until the morning, whereupon mom went to work and left a pink eye, but awake and aware little peanut, and a dad who appeared to be on death's door. We were a sad pair. And you could tell mom was nervous.

At this point, you should know two things:

1. Dad is a complete grump when sick. True, who isn’t? But dad would most likely take the gold at the grumpy Olympics.

2. Mom and Dad had tickets to Wednesday night’s Sabres game, Joe Sakic’s last appearance.

To recap: Dad is sick. Autumn has pink eye and the runs. The Sabres appear to be a distant dream. Mom takes tickets to work with the intention of selling or giving away.

So there’s Dad and Autumn, at 8:00 both feeling crappy. Both ate a little, and then sat on the rocker, slowly falling asleep. Fast-forward a few minutes, and you find dad and Autumn sound asleep in the bed (Lucy and Romeo there as well) in what will be called the sleep that solved almost everything.

Because, from that two hour nap on, Dad felt like a million bucks. Autumn even seemed better.

The nap. It’s not sleep, it’s better sleep. Even a half-hour nap can do wonders. Still, Mom had given away the Sabres tickets as planned to someone at work who really needed a night out. Really, it all sort of worked out.

Update: it’s now Friday. I started writing this post Thursday. Autumn is doing better, Dad feels great, and managed to get tickets to the Sabres game tonight. Thanks Mom!!!!

We’ll post later about giving eye drops to a squirming, screaming baby.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandad

There's no way he'll ever see this, he's not big into computers. Plus, he's in Florida. Anyway, happy birthday to Granddad!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sick Peanut

Yesterday, we got a call from day care. The call was, Autumn has the runs. Actually, she doesn't have just the runs, she has the world class sprints. And some goop in her eye.

A little background. She hasn't been sleeping through the nights for the last few days. Mom and dad aren't getting much sleep, so we're on edge. Autumn is both toothing and leaking mostly fluids from her cute little heiney. So, not only does a late night diaper change involve the diaper change, it also involves the full-scale change of her outfit.

Anyway, Autumn and mom are home today. She's not allowed to go back to daycare until she has a solid BM. We'll see how today goes. But I'll tell you this: I'm currently jacked up on caffeine, feeling like I'm getting sick, and it's the coldest day of the year. I've had better weeks.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday at the Brier

I might be on my own, but I'm in heaven. I'm at the Brier in Hamilton, about to watch one of the best games (on paper) in the week. Glenn Howard vs Jeff Stoughton. You can watch it here.

Last night, Autumn didn't really cooperate with Dad's plans to spend the entire day at the Brier, Canada's Curling Championship. She was up and down like the stock market last week, finally settling to sleep at 3:00 snuggled to dad.

We're not big fans of bringing her into bed, but after an hour of trying to get her back to sleep, we were at our wit's end, and a little tipsy to boot.

Yesterday, I did run into Johnny Mac, an old teammate from my playing days. I got a shot of him even.

John told us the news that he was going to be a dad. It's awesome. Even when she's crying at 2:00AM, and you want to be at the Brier for the next day.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

This is Autumn

Happy Birthday Aunt Tracey!!

This morning, Autumn said trawa, which I think was in your honour. And I spelt that the Canadian way, also in your honour.

At the Brier

I am doing this post from the Canadian Curling Championships. Also known as the Brier. The Brier is one of Canada's premier sporting events. Thanks to my occasional penmanship in a little curling rag called the Curling News, I get to be an ink-stained retch for the week and watch the event from the press box. As a young curler, I used to throw rocks at night thinking about throwing a shot to win the Brier. And while the Olmpics are now a big every-four-year carrot, there's something special about the Brier. You won't find another sport with the same kind of access to players. some of the guys on the ice, I consider friends. As I walked around before this game, I saw people I haven't seen in a long time. It was pretty cool.

Anyway, I might blog some more about this later. It's that cool.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Autumn crawling, walking

This month, Autumn will be 9 months old. That's around the time it took mom to carry her in her belly.

She's crawling around now without any problem. And she's beginning to practice pulling herself up on just about anything. This morning, she tried to pull herself up using my bottom lip. I'm not kidding. So, in the next few months, she'll learn that some things aren't sturdy enough to lift her weight.

That's probably why yesterday, at Day Care, I signed an 'Accident Report'. It seems our little Peanut tried to pull herself up on something that fell on her. She had a little boo-boo on her head, but I'll bet you didn't notice it in this morning's picture.

What you will notice, when you come to our house, is that we're baby-proofing as we go. As new parent's, we can guess what she'll get into, but they are only guesses. I would never have guessed that she would use my bottom lip to stand up. And I would never have guessed that her little nails would cut my lip.

So we baby proof. We pull things off the table. We clear the lower shelves of the bookshelves. We keep our bottom lip as far away from her little fingers as possible.
We work on it. And try hard to limit the bumps to little ones.

People often ask us if she's growing up too fast. When I'm up at 2:00AM feeding her, I can honestly tell you it isn't fast enough. And, I can't wait until she's walking and talking. A parent we talked to said this: "You can't wait for your child to start walking and talking, and when they do, you can't wait for them to sit down and shut up."

Right now, I can't wait for her to start talking. Keep watching this blog to see how that goes.

A family shot

Family shot for a friday morning. Coming soon, more politics.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Estate Tax

For the last six years, Bush has fought hard to repeal the Estate Tax. This is a tax on inheritance. It's been framed in many different ways, from Estate Tax if you're a Democrat (or progressive) to Death Tax if you're Republican.

To me, the non-America, it's a very American tax. Here's why: America is the land of opportunity. It's the only country with a dream named after it. There isn't a Canadian Dream. Or an Italian Dream. There is an American Dream. This is the country that was deliberately set up to be anti-England. At the time, England was all about class. It was generally clear at birth what class you fit into, and what class you would be as an adult.

America was meant to be different. Class doesn't matter. Millionaires come from everywhere. And while class has broken down in the rest of the world, America still tries to stand for a non-class country. This is meant to be a country where you call start from the same place, and hard work is what makes you rich.

You're allowed to get some help from inheritance, but in my opinion, it goes against what America is all about if you get it all. In my opinion, the estate tax levels the class playing field.

However, the Republicans, lead by the wealthiest families in the US, have fought hard to reposition the Estate Tax as the Death Tax. That was step one to repealing it.

It's not a death tax though. This website, likes to tell you it is killing family business. I pulled the chart below from their site.

Notice the legal at the bottom. The numbers in this chart are monies NOT TAXED. So if the 'family business' had an estate of 1.5 million in 2004, the inheritance was tax free. And they think this is killing the family business?

Anyway, I think all people who pay taxes in the US should read this speech. It's from the floor of the senate by Bernie Sanders. It gives you an idea of what's at stake.