Friday, December 19, 2008

Technical Difficulties Redux

Hi folks.

Yesterday afternoon, the Mac croaked. Apparently the logic board got fried.

I know how it feels.

Fortunately, it's not the hard drive, and we have the apple care plan.

So we are without computer at home for a bit, though Tony (who's actualy posting this) has his work laptop. So we can still get e-mail, just not as easily.

If you have need, just call us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Two Firsts

Last night Tony and I fed Alice her first meal of Brown Rice Cereal. She took to it much faster than we had anticipated. I had assumed that she would push the first spoonful out of her mouth and play with the contents. Instead she took the first offered bite and quietly pondered the taste. Then she devoured the whole bowl.

After such a hearty meal we thought she could use a drink so we gave her a baby-sized cup (thanks Betty) and a little bit of water. At first she wanted me to tip the cup for her while she took some tentative sips. Ultimately Alice took the cup in both hands and doused herself while draining her first drink.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

As a birthday surprise Tony snuck our two great friends Leanne and Brad into town! He came home early on Friday, told me to cover my eyes, and viola! There were our Chicago buddies ready for a weekend of fun times!

We spent lots of time exploring the city via Letterboxing. We checked out the Nature Center and behind the bird sanctuary we took a break for a photo opp. Notice how Brad is the tallest one in the photo. Notice also that Leanne and I don't know what to do with our hands.

Twice we went to Mother's vegetarian restaurant and ate soup. This was more fun than it sounds. Alice enjoyed bouncing from lap to lap with constant tummy rubbing and binky retrieving.

I'm 30 years old!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank you

I owe an extra thank you to Cathleen for giving us her kids' activity center. Cathleen told me though this thing is not aesthetically pleasing, it is incredibly useful to have five minuets to yourself in a given day. Alice LOVES this baby gym and reacted to it like I had given her baby crack.

There was lots of screaming and joyous wiggling followed by an equal and proportionate amount of crying when her senses overloaded. I actually removed most of the toys as she was getting the shakes from too much input.

Now I have a working method where I move the kid in a rotation from this thing, to my lap, to the floor, to the playpen, back to my lap, and so on until it is naptime or I have (miracle of miracles) completed a task.

Thank you Cathleen!


Tonight I attempted to embroider Alice's X-mas stocking with marginal to poor results.

This enrages me as I assumed I would be a magnificent stitcher. This assumption was based on no actual evidence or prior experience. Damn it all to poop.

Maybe felt is a bad medium for stitching. What is it they say, "It is a kick-ass craftsmen who blames his tools"? Something like that...

In other news Alice started barrel rolling today. She now uses rolling as her sole means of locomotion. If I let her, Alice would roll herself right off the bed and crash to the floor. Her enthusiasm is to be commended. I bow to Alice's superior efforts in mastering a new skill.

Damn you embroidered snowflake!! Why don't you look like the picture on the box?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Aunt the actress

I have a lot of freelance design projects going on right now which is wonderful, but I took a break from my regular work this weekend to help my Uncle. He asked me to assist him put together the media materials for a memorial retrospective that he is hosting tonight for his wife, my Aunt Ivett, who passed away this summer.

I knew that Ivett worked as a Broadway actress early in her career but I had never known the details. I spent the last few days reading all of her reviews and going through her photos. Ivett was not only in some big productions she was also lavished with praise from the critics. My Aunt was already done with Broadway when I knew her and had moved on to work as a soap opera actress, then a Casting Agent, and finally as an Agent. It was a nice surprise to find out that she was one of the few people to make a great success of her time in the theater.

Check out these promotional shots:

In case you were wondering, yes that is Rue Mcclanahan (Rose of the Golden Girls).

Monday, December 8, 2008

What's this? A new comic you say?

Man it has been so long since I posted a "prepost" comic that one of the guys in the "Coming Soon" section has had a second kid and the other one is no longer becoming a priest! In my group of yet to be published contributers there have been divorces, new jobs, and even deaths. Life just kept whizzing by during the long sabbatical I took to better care for my wee one.

(Emphasis on Wee)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I took this picture after Tony got to meet his favorite comic author Chris Onstad who writes ""Achewood" which if you haven't seen it...what is wrong with you? We didn't get a picture with Onstad because Tony was brimming over with nerd-love. Also Alice was getting sleepy.
We took Alice home and I told Tony he should go back to the signing. Tony looked at me like I was the best wife ever and pranced out of the house giggling.

Here is how Tony is the best husband ever. He was last in line at the end of the signing (Last Man Standing: a la the Great Outdoor Fight- that's for the Achewood fans) and he gave Chris Onstad a book of my comics! Sweet sweet man. This is something I would have been too embarrassed to do myself. So in honor of his brave marketing initiative I am finally updating my comic site. The comic I am loading is a re-run but it is in honor of JOE who got a little something special signed by Onstad that is coming to Lubbock for X-mas!! comic. I promise.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We had a great time visiting with my Mom and sister in Albuquerque in early November. I always enjoy going home even though the unpopulated mesa I grew up on is rapidly becoming swamped with shopping malls and condos. The best part about going home is witnessing the ongoing love affair between Alice and my Mom. I leave the two of them alone while Tony and I go to see a movie ("Zack and Miri make a Porno"- delightful flick...don't go see it Mom) when I return my Baby has learned a whole passel of new tricks. Like clenching her gums and gritting out "DA!" at Tony. Or giving damp baby kisses directly to my glasses (joy!). Or biting Mommy on the shoulder to alleviate teething.

The kid is wild for Mom and I think the feeling is mutual. On our first night we were having a lovely dinner (Mom brought Chinese to the hotel room so we wouldn't have to put Alice to sleep late) Mom was holding the kid and made herself sad just thinking about Alice leaving in six days!

One of Alice's most notable tricks from her Grandmother visit is her new screaming yelp. Now when she is happy, sad, or pensive Alice expresses herself in a shriek that only dogs and Mommy can hear. The picture above is a demonstration of a happy yawlp. I would show pictures of our trip, but alas I downloaded all my photos to my Mom's computer and then accidentally deleted them from my camera.

It was great seeing my buddy Marcie over our visit and again, it would be great to show picture proof, but I've got nothing. We will just have to go see Marcie again soon or lure her here to Austin!

First babysitting

Alice with Cousin Chris:

Alice with Cousin Ben:

Technically speaking Alice has been baby-sat before by My Mother and Tony's folks. However, Grandparents could arguably not be considered babysitters in the traditional sense. As they are not of the teenage- raid the fridge/ textmessaging- variety. Up until last week no one without a driver's license has ever watched Alice. That all changed when we arrived in Dallas for Thanksgiving.

We were invited to spend the holiday sleeping at my Grandparent's home. It was wonderfully comfortable and my Grandmother cooked an excellent meal. You can see her in the background of Ben's photo. This is probably the only time she will want me to post her picture on the internet as she is not fond of being photographed (she looked lovely though).
Upon arrival at my Grandparents house my cousin Chris (see above) immediately asked if we would like him to watch Alice. How's that for service? I used to babysit both Chris and Ben in their early days and it is nice to see some return on that investment! Ben also offered to watch the kid as he lives here in Austin. But since Ben is working and getting ready for college I think he can skip sitting on the baby.

I'm going to date myself now: What's with the long hippie hair on kids these days? You guys look nice but I don't get the new "cool" fashions. I'm not hip. Ben explained that his hair is long because his girlfriend prefers long hair. Ok, that I get.

P.S. I should add that my Grandfather (Jack Towne PHD) cooked the bird, and it was delicious!

First (extended) sit

One of the people we visited over Thanksgiving was my sister-in-law Becky who makes the most delicious carrot soup. We had a little luncheon at her home and, among other things, watched Marilyn (my niece) practice sitting up. Alice had not really gotten the hang of sitting up yet without assistance. But it seems to me that Marilyn is a very good role model for her cousin because Alice chose that afternoon to emulate Marilyn and sit up on her own for a ridiculously long time.

Note: This video might be more interesting for Grandparent and Great-Grandparent types as it is very monotonous.
I think you can even hear Becky deadpanning the word, "fascinating" and Bro-in-law Mike saying, "Blog entry!"

First food

Alice had her first official food yesterday. It was celery. Let me explain.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we traveled to Dallas and spent time with our DFW clan. We went to a lovely leftover party the day after Thanksgiving at Tony's Aunt and Uncle's house. This is a place that is always jam-packed with babies and veteran parents. One of those is Tony's excellent cousin David who gave me some crackerjack parenting advice. The subject was teething remedies and David said that he and his lovely wife Kristy used cold celery on sore baby gums with their four boys. The strings in the celery prevent potential choking if a bit should be bitten off by exuberant chewing, with the proviso that you must monitor the baby during this process because you can't trust the little buggers.
Thus Alice had her first food which she mostly drooled on and gazed at adoringly.

The post-Thanksgiving party was great. I loved that other parents were doing sweet things for Alice like casually handing her something non-toxic to play with when she got bored or wipe her chin when it got damp. Alice seemed overjoyed by the company of other small folk. Especially her cousins Andy and Marilyn.

I think that little Marilyn showed a graciousness beyond her age by allowing Alice to dive on her toys. Marilyn's Mom Karen says that Marilyn probably didn't notice the toy thievery, but I think my niece is just an uncommonly sweet girl.

In any case it was nice to see the two baby mohawks together.

Long time no see

Due to a flurry of travel I have been shamefully absent from this blog. Also the kid has begun waking up from her naps (and at night) whenever she hears my keyboard clacking. So there you go. As you can imagine baby sleep is sacred.

A lot has happened during my sabbatical:

Alice took her 1st flight:

The kid and I tagged along on a business trip with Tony to my hometown of Albuquerque.
Alice behaved beautifully on the plane. I was worried about the change in altitude so I gave Alice a pacifier to pop her ears. The take-off didn't seem to bother Alice at all. However, the landing obviously caused her some pain. Poor baby. She didn't cry but she looked up at me as if to ask "What's happening and why does it hurt?"
Nursing really worked better than the pacifier. It was tricky balancing the safety of having her strapped into the carseat (it wasn't a full flight so we didn't have to buy a ticket to use her seat) with wanting to prevent Alice's crying with nursing as we changed altitude.
The only real problem we had was a diaper explosion during our stop in Lubbock (shout out to the Howe family!). It was one of those deals where the entire back of the kid was painted in poop. Gross but all too common. We couldn't put Alice on her back in our seats (no room/ lots of poop) and the bathroom changing table was a joke. So we had to strip the kid while she was standing up and wipe her down. At that point Alice did start wailing. I'm sure that if I were standing naked on an airplane covered in poop I would also cry.
Once we were back in the air all was joy and light. Alice had a good time sleeping and playing with her toys.
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