Thursday, July 31, 2008

A day at the Marina

Autumn's daycare went to the Buffalo Marina today. It was a gorgeous day filled with boats and airplane's. And one of the best parts? Autumn got to take the train. here are some pictures of the day:

This is her smiling.
The lady in the background gave Autumn a flower.
This is one the train. Heading back to school.
And this is a small taste of what it's like: (watch your volume levels)

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

About last night

I should start by saying that life is getting better. A couple of night's ago, b-Gavin, baby Gavin, aka, the captain slept from 9:00PM until almost 3:00AM. For the math challenged among us, that's 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Lets pause for a moment and consider how truly awesome that is.

Okay, now back to last night. B-Gavs was up to his normal schedule. A feeding at 10:00, at 1:00AM. But that's the not the thing.

The thing was 5:00AM.

It started, of all places, with the dog. For reasons that only she could explain, she decided to get up. Since she sleeps under the bed, and is a 50lb dog, it's a loud performance when she gets her butt out from under the bed.

And this noise created the following chain-reaction: a wail from b-Gavin, since he was in the room.

The wail woke up Autumn, who began her own wail, in the note of C.

At 5:00AM. Meaning, there's no going back to sleep. Because at this point, Lucy decided to go down stairs and bark at the moon (or most likely a dog being walked by their person at 5:00 freakin' AM).

We tried to get back to sleep. Rub Autumn's belly. Rock b-Gavin. But the effort, and the time, means there's no chance at getting back to sleep.

This is the first chain reaction wake-up in the AM. It won't be the last. Chances are good that we'll have one at 3:00AM. Me thinks the kids are just practicing.

Next time, we'll talk about his poop. It's otherworldly.

Bonus shot:

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gave me a lump

It's an old video, an old story, and I don't want to look it up to see if it's a hoax because I liked it.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The crying little man

Gavin cries. I can give you a number of good reasons for the crying:

1. He's gone number one or two in the diaper.
2. He just wants to be held.
3. Autumn just tried to give him a hug and squished him.
4. He's hungry.

9 times out of 10, more than 90 out of a hundred, it's #4. And to be honest, there's not much I can do about it.

True, mom's pumping. And there's an ample supply in the freezer of pure whole breast milk. I can, and have, unfrozen it, heated it, and offered it up.

Here' the thing. Autumn took to the bottle like a champion. Consider this post from August, 2006:
"Last night, Rhona went out. So dad was left with the two girls. I fed her the bottle, I walked her, and then we had tummy time. Groaning and grunting, she moved along a little mat, pulling herself. Yes folks, we had locomotion. Which is a milestone for dad, but not what this post is about."
Admittedly, this is at the 8 week stage. And the wee-man is a mere 6 and a bit weeks. But I can't find a post in Autumn's life that talks about her not taking a bottle. She wolfed the bottle.

Gavin, not so much. Gavin rolls it around I his mouth like it's gum. He chews, swishes his tongue, and does everything but suck. For the most part. It's honestly a test of patience. Eventually he'll attach on and suck. Word from a lactation consultant is that he can pound back 3,5 ox in 7 minutes.

Look at me, proud of my boy's ability to chug.

Anyway, once he gets on the bottle, he goes to town. So much so, that I have to pull him off and let him burp. Lest he spit up.

But, and this is the point, he just settles down with mom.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gavin and Autumn

Maybe we're just lucky.

At some point, the people told us, Autumn would ask us to send back Gavin. The thinking is simple: for the first two years of her life, we doted on her. Storytime at night. Walks and hugs for just her. Kisses, attention, our complete love, all hers. Exclusively.

And then along comes this dude (pictured with the dad-dude):

And next thing you know, it's sharing attention. It's sharing hugs, kisses, and everything. And yet, all we hear from her is
"I love baby Gavin. I wanna kiss 'im. I wanna touch 'im. I wanna hug 'im."
Pure love. Now, one day I might link to this post with a comment about how she asked to send him back. He is, right now, rather easy. He doesn't demand a lot of prolonged attention. Admittedly, he's up a bunch of times in the night, and we have to give him attention, but for the most part, we can devote a lot of time to Autumn.

Take this moment. Gavin is sleeping in the swing (still the greatest thing for new parents). Autumn is watching Mary Poppins for about the 60th time (she even acts out some parts).

I can run over there and act out certain parts with her (we do a mean step-in-time), but she doesn't need us.

Lets see how long that lasts.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rising Gas Prices Could Cure Obesity

Keeping gas in the family truckster is slimming more than wallets these days and could have Americans tightening their belts -- literally. According to Charles Courtemanche, an assistant economics professor at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, rising fuel prices are the ultimate crash diet for a nation that grew fat on cheap gas.
Rising Gas Prices Could Cure Obesity | Autopia from

I've often thought that high gas prices will kill the suburbs. i still think that. And if people leave the suburbs, they will move to cities. Which are highly walkable. Which will also cure our obesity. Or at least help it.
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Five things Autumn loves

In no particular order:

1. Gavin. Can I touch him, can I kiss him, can I hug him. Picture that sentence without the h sound though (she has a problem with h, so it sounds more like 'im.)

2. Airplanes. If we're walking along the street and we hear an airplane, we stop and look. If you ask Autumn where an airplane is going, she says airport every time.

3. Playground. What kid doesn't love playgrounds?

4. Broccoli. Ask us what her favorite food is, and we'll say without hesitation, blueberries. Ask them at DayCare and they say Broccoli.

5. Fire Engines. She loves them. And this is really the reason for this post. to show off some of these.

Yes, it was a daycare outing to a firehouse. Autumn got to the play with the hose, get in the fire truck, and hang out with firemen. A good time was had by all.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

In the time of lack of sleep

Yes, it's true, we don't sleep much.

Our little Gavin is 5 weeks old today, and shows no real sign of sleeping soon. Autumn wakes up at some point in the night on a fairly regular basis and complains about something.

And Lucy.

Lucy has something going on that isn't fleas, but makes her scratch herself all the time. All friggin' night long. Scratch. Friggin' Scratch.

Oh, and to complete the list, Romeo the cat has decided to up his prolific output of pissing on everything. Perhaps this is the manner that he draws the line in the sand saying enough adding people and pets to this household that used to just be me and the woman that takes baths.

But, he's now taken to peeing on pillows on the bed.

As you can imagine, we're on edge. But, they tell me, this is normal. We don't get much sleep, pets react different to new people in their territory, we wake up on edge and sometimes get in each others grill over something as silly as how the dishwasher got unplugged.

But we're doing good. Really. We have a wonderful family. We have a nice little house in a nice little neighborhood. And, there are things like this on the Internet to give one perspective.

It's called Eat the Strawberry. What it means to me is "Hug my wife".

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A sign of the times

As a new American, I feel I can ask this question, is this the American we want to live in? This person was ticketed for trespassing on government property because of a sign in her hand. Aside from the very legitimate question she asks at the end of the video, a better question occurs to me: doesn't the first amendment protect things like this?

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Why Buffalo?

City of BuffaloImage via Wikipedia
"There is a fine line between something and nothing and Buffalo manages to walk it straight despite the large quantities of alcohol it consumed in hopes of blurring that line just a little wider."
This is one of many brilliant quotes in a piece called: "How Buffalo get a Warhol?"

Written in 1997, it's a look at Buffalo that's all at once proud, confused, funny and frustrating. Fact is, our fair city is the second poorest in the nation. Only new Orleans, where Katrina literally washed everything away, beats it.

And yet.

This weekend, we were walking along Elmwood with the kids. A couple with three kids stopped us and began asking us about Buffalo. They were moving here from Texas (had moved here) and were looking for houses.

It's at this moment, and after this weekend of glorious sunny weather that I feel the need to talk up the second poorest city in the nation. The city of neglect. The city filled with amazing things that are either reminders of a better time, or simply crumbling.

It's very easy to take a drive through the second poorest city in the nation and think things can't get better. It's just as easy though, to think that things can't get worse. And if you get there, then you can begin to see little signs here and there that there is progress.

There's a sense that Buffalo can be an architecture mecca. From the Gothic City Hall, to the Millionaires row on Delaware, there are architectural treasures in the city. There's a desire to take back the waterfront. Check out the waterfront, I just visited at lunch. It's right next to HSBC arena and you can see -- dare we say it -- progress.

At it's best, Buffalo offers a place to raise kids that's pretty solid. But clearly, it's not all rosy. We told the people on the street that the Elmwood village was nice and safe. We told them that there are a lot of kids on our street and in the neighborhood in general. We didn't tell them about our second place finish. We didn't tell them about the vacancies.

Indeed, last night at a BBQ, a young couple told me they were looking at buying a house for $30,000. That doesn't come up in conversation, although it does come up that Buffalo is a good place to buy a house.

It's kind of place that doesn't really need a traffic report because the traffic left years ago. But my commute is 8 minutes. I live in the city, work in the city, and everyone in a while, will stand up and defend the city. There's lots to see and do here.

There's also lots that needs to be done. It's easy to focus on that last part. We're good at wanting what we don't have more than we're good at noticing what we have. That's why people will go away and take pictures of gorgeous churches, but never once shoot Our lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica. It's no slight to them, I've never shot it.

On that note, what else have I yet to do?

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Autumn's birthday presents

We got her two things that she loves. The first is because the kids next door all have scooters. Autumn is always saying, "I want to ride scooter."

So, we got her a little starter scooter. With a helmet.

The second is girlie. She loves dresses, and princesses, and wearing dresses and looking pretty. So we got her a little dress up dress. In it, she can look like a princess.

"I'm soooo pretty." She says. See for yourself.

Here are some bonus pictures.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Something to think about for presents

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

You Know You're a Canadian When...

You stand in "line-ups" at the movie, not lines.

You're not offended by the term "Homo Milk".

You understand the sentence, "Could you please pass me a serviette, I just spilled my poutine.

"You eat chocolate bars instead of candy bars.

You drink pop, not soda.

You know what it means to be on pogey.

You know that a mickey and 2-4's mean "Party at the camp, eh!

"You can drink legally while still a teen.

You talk about the weather with strangers and friends alike.

You don't know or care about the fuss with Cuba, it's just a cheap place to travel with good cigars and no Americans.
You Know You're a Canadian When...

There's more on the list. I still know the answers to all of these.
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Happy Canada Day!

So, in these United States, it's a Tuesday. In my home country, it's Canada Day.

So, Happy Canada day.

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