Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry New Year!!

I came really close to posting this again. I haven't had a new year since '84 where that wasn't the first thing I heard...

Thanks for joining me on the parenting journey this year. It's been a wild one...at this time last year, Bud wasn't even rolling over, and today, for the first time she said "I love you." I can't wait to see what '08 brings. Walking? Swimming? An enjoyable baseball season? (If I have to deal with the nonsense of '07's first-half and postseason, I may have to switch over to some other sport...) We shall see.

I leave you with a New Year's wish from a celebrity from whom we didn't hear so much this year...but who was the inspiration behind me purchasing my first camera phone (I saw her drunk at a restaurant once, and promised myself never to be without a camera again)...Tara Reid...MERRY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

How is a daddy of a one-year-old like a GPS system fitted with Bluetooth?

We are both designed to accept simple voice commands.

Bud has crossed the line in verbal development where words go from identification: "mommy," "daddy," "chair," "binky," "Elmo" to orders. The other night we were doing the "night routine" when Bud orders "milk." "Milk, milk, milk!" So, I gave her some milk, she turns to me and says "Daddy! Up!" So, I pick her up. "Dans..." So, we dance. I put her down for her to drink more milk, and Bud declares "no, no, no!" "Up. Dans."

Other commands include: eat! binky! Elmo, Teddy, etc....as in, give me Elmo, Teddy, etc. And, of course, there are the food orders: cookie! pa-ta (pasta)! lini (tortellini)! poop (soup)!

The scariest word, of course, is "no." I've been warned about that...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

WHEW!!

I liked the Simpsons Movie...what a relief! I don't need to be fitted for my Lifealert bracelet yet.

By the way- have you seen recent Lifealert commercials? Their slogan is actually "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!" (What the lady screams in the early-nineties commercial.)

That's almost as bad as NJ Transit's slogan: "We're all in this together." In other words "Yeah, I know it sucks, but we think it sucks too..."

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What are you in for? Climbing into a drawer.

Last week, I think it was Thursday, Newmommy unleashed the long arm of the parental law and handed down Bud's first ever "punishment." She was given a one-minute "time-out," but was let out twenty seconds early for good behavior. For those of you who aren't familiar with "time-out," it's basically sitting in a corner until the clock runs out. It's sort of like being put in the penalty box in hockey, with about the same amount of teeth. No, we did not make her wear a dunce cap.

Bud received her punishment for climbing into the drawer in our coffee table, after she was told not to. She tried to do this again, and I really felt "parental" explaining that "people don't go in drawers, drawers are for books and clothes."

(See the new feature in the sidebar...I'm going to start adding quotes...)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Superbad Is

As a semi-new parent, I don't get to the movies very often. Because the frequency of my social life and I getting together has decreased since the birth of Bud, when I do get to go out, I prefer to "rock out" a bit more than sitting in a theater. So, today, I officially became the last person in the United States between the ages of 15 and 45 to see the movie "Superbad."

I wanted to like this movie. For one, everyone I knew who recommended it loved it, so not liking it would make me somewhat of an freak. Also, it's been a while since there was a movie in the same vein as "The Forty Year Old Virgin," "Wedding Crashers" and "Not Another Teen Movie," so I was really hoping to have another great comedy to put in the category.

I'm sorry, world. I just didn't get it. I was pretty bored. McLovin...OK, that's a good bit, but I just could not get into this movie.

True, I didn't like "Napoleon Dynamite" the first time I saw it either. I thought it was pretty stupid. But the next day, I saw myself quoting it, re-watched it, and was able to appreciate it for what it is. I doubt that will happen with this movie.

The problem is, for a guy who spent college addicted to the Simpsons, South Park, with the scripts to Fletch, Revenge of the Nerds and Happy Gilmore memorized, I am supposed to like this movie. And, that's what bothers me. Have I become old, and can no longer appreciate this type of humor? Am I now "out of the club?" Is Bud going to show me a movie she loves in a few years, and I just won't "get it?" Is it true, "Parents Just Don't Understand?"

And what the hell is "High School Musical" anyway; and who is Hannah Montana?

When Eric Cartman met the Thompsons, a lovely couple who had asses where their faces should have been (and could not eat chili because it made them throw up), Eric didn't think it was funny, and thought he blew a "funny fuse." Perhaps I did just that. Or, perhaps I have crossed an unwritten line...like when you begin to prefer VH1 over MTV.


I am really, really scared to watch the Simpsons Movie. If I don't like it, I can see the young side of me being really upset at me now...like some sort of twisted Shredded Wheat commercial.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More Fun With Google Analytics

Bud's sleeping, so let's take a look at some more exits on the information superhighway that lead you here...

1. "Diapers for a Bad Report Card." I'm no educator, but I believe there are other ways to get your kid's grades up.

2. "Medical Word of Shit." I pride myself on high quality, educational content.

3. "Toilet Humor." Ditto.

4. "My Milkshake Brings All the Little Boys to the Yard." Little boys? Which yard- remind me to avoid that one! (See also "What is a woman's milkshake?" Good question.)

5. "I blame the cavity creeps." We...make...holes in teeth.....we....make...holes in teeth.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Hakaka

...as Bud would say. Pictured on the right is Bud's "nora." (It was an easy word for her because it rhymes with "Dora.")

P.S. I realize Hanukkah is over, but if Christmas can start in early November, surely I can post a Hanukkah post the day after the holiday ended.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bud's First Sentence

"How are you?"

Bud uttered her first sentence today. I don't think she was actually asking me how I was, but merely repeating what Newmommy says when she picks up Bud's play-phone: "Hello? Hi! How are you? Good..." Until now, she made it only through the second word. Now, I have a true conversationalist.

I had hopes for her first sentence...something like "Daddy, I've already made some $200k in the market, no need to save for my college education," or "What the hell do you mean Joe Torre isn't coming back next year?" or even "I'll have the spicy maki combo." Oh well, I'll take what I can get.

While with Newmommy's parents over the weekend, she was given a bowl of soup. When Newnana tried to take it away from her, she protested...although she didn't get the word quite right...."Poop! Poop!" Soup/poop, close enough.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Taking the World By Land and Sea

Wait...did I just quote "The Breakup?" Yeah, it's a chick flick, but it's got some funny bits- so BACK OFF!!

I think it's amazing that in the course of four days, Bud began learning to both walk and swim.

First, walking. Over the weekend she, for the first time, allowed us to hold her hands while she walked with our support. When they say in the various credit card commercials "Your Baby's First Step," do they mean assisted or unassisted? In any event, I can hear Five for Fighting in the background..."I'm fifteen for a moment..."

Second, swimming. We began lessons on Sunday. Technically, it's a "Mommy and Me", but there were no mommys in the pool...this is definitely a daddy thing. She seemed to like it...I'm not sure if she was kicking because she was swimming, or because she kicks all the time. Again, I'm not sure what the Official Child Milestone book considers swimming, so I'm going to score it as a "yes."

Next week, I'm going to teach her how to convert a 7-10 split.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gotta Watch Out for those Pumas

I had drinks a few nights ago with a bunch of fellow Jerseyites, all of whom have three- or four-year-olds. One of the fathers told me that, every night, he has to "check" to make sure that his daughter's room is clear of all of the things she's afraid of...

"Did you check for monsters?", she asks.

"Yes, I did," replies daddy.

"What about ghosts?"

"Mmm-hmm."

"What about pumas?," she asks.

"Pumas? Where did you hear about pumas?", asks the father.

"Diego."

Friggin' Diego...scaring kids like that. I didn't realize that pumas were indigenous to this area of New Jersey! I wish I knew that before I moved here. It wasn't in the brochure.

Friday, November 30, 2007

That's about as likely as me playing by someone else's rules besides my own. Which I would never do. I play by my own rules..

"...nobody else's...not even my own."

When I started this blog, I had a couple of guidelines for myself. First, I wouldn't turn this into a mushy, lovey-dovey, "look-my-kid-spit-up" minute-by-minute update on Bud's life.

Second, I was only going to post when I had something to write about. I wasn't going to do this every day, every other day, etc...I was only going to speak when I had something to say.

And that's why your humble narrator has been MIA this month...aside from the vacation situation and the thanksgiving stuff, the only thing I have to report is a laundry list of really cute things that my daughter has done. But you probably don't want to hear that...

Well, too bad...I'm breaking my rules today. I'm a rebel, my friends:

  • Every morning, the first thing she says to Newmommy and me is "Binky." But, with one in her mouth so it sounds more like "Biikii." And, aside from the one in her mouth, she's got one in each hand. Multitasking at such a young age...
  • She knows what animals say: pig, horse, dog, sheep, cow, cat, and my favorite...monkey. See tickles herself and goes "ooo, ooo."
  • She hasn't quite gotten "rooster": cock-a-doo-loo.
  • She's not counting, nor does she know the alphabet yet, but she's started in the middle: she knows the number three and the letter "P." One, two....three!!
  • Ask her a "who is the .... in the world ?" question and she's say, "MEEE!" (In fact, I sang her the "Wally World National Anthem," and when I got to "Who's the star of our favorite show?" she replied, "MEEE!!"
  • She rocks out...when she hears a song she likes, she'll get on her knees, throw her hands in the air, and bounce up and down. Rock on.
  • She brushes her teeth. It's never too early to begin good oral hygiene habits, folks.
That's enough for now. Sorry for the lame month of posting, everyone. Hopefully, in December, I'll be able to b-ring it. (It's already been b-rought-ed).

Friday, November 23, 2007

I.O.L. in Every Room

Bud has mastered a skill: turning lights on and off. We hold her up to a light switch and she flicks on the light, proudly declaring, in an almost biblical way "liiiight!" And, then she turns the light off. And, in true fourteen-month-old fashion, she repeats the exercise about ten times until we pull her away.

(And, yes, I quoted "Arthur II: On the Rocks" for this post. For those of you who did not have HBO throughout the nineties...IOL stands for "Instant On Lighting.")

I will forgo the "enjoy your turkey sandwich/leftovers" jokes, but will relay a funny story from last night's dinner. Grandma brought Bud an Elmo cupcake for dessert, which she managed to get all over her clothing, hair, face, the floor, etc. We all watched and laughed. (Far be it from us to focus on anything other than Bud during a family function!) Newaunt says, "this is the best entertainment ever!" Bud looks up, pats herself on the chest with both hands and yells "MEEEEEE!!!!" Exactly.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Whateva!!

It's been a while since I posted a "cute kid video." Not sure if this is cute or annoying...you be the judge!



P.S. Bud's now cruising...she'll pull herself up on a piece of furniture, and walk across the side using the furniture as support. I imagine walking is any day now...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Language Lessons

Monique: "...instead he uses it as a chance to put his testicles all over me."
Lane Meyer: "TENTACLES...N, T....there's a big difference."

- From "Better Off Dead"

Bud has quite the vocabulary, with such new words as "ball," "open," and "car." (Not to mention "Laurie", as in Laurie Berkner.) Bud's words generally come in two categories: words that are clearly the word she's trying to say (like "key" and "dada"), and those which are close and consistent (such as "pa-peh" for pancake and "ba-bay-bee" for strawberry). Her newest one, however, is DVD, which she loving calls a "VD." It's going to be a while before she appreciates the difference, and I wonder if, by the time she learns what VD actually means, DVDs will even be around. "VD!" "VD!" No, really, you don't want that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reunited (and it feels so good)

Newnana and Newgrampy pull up to our house at about 10:30am with Bud in the car. After not seeing her for about six days now, Newmommy and I run down the stairs, trying to get an edge on the other so we could see her first. It was like being on a second-grade lunch line. We had obviously not seen the grandparents either, but we nearly knocked them over on our way to see Bud. (Out of my way, whoever you are...)

Bud looks different. She's grown so much in a week. She also looks congested and uncomfortable. But, she looks at me and says "dada." No, she did not forget about me! Woohoo.

The next week was difficult, and the reason, we ultimately found out, was that she had Roseola. Which is like penne except longer something kids get, which starts as a +103 fever, and ends with a body rash. Finding out that news actually put us a ease, as its a common sickness that goes away, but until we found out what it was, Bud just wasn't herself. Yes, she was sick. Yes, we were in a new house. Yes, we had been gone and now we're back and she's probably confused. Lots was going on. Yet, it was hard not to think that we somehow upset her, and she was holding it against us.

Luckily, as soon as the rash went away, she was back to smiles, strawberries and her obsession with Laurie Berkner.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vacation Days 4 & 5: Sick & Sicker

Vacation Day 4 was more of the same: chillaxin' in the sun with the occasional (ok, more than just 'occasional') Belashi...which is Aruban for beer. (Apparently, they don't have a website, and apparently "Belashi" is also a town in Kazakhstan. Yegshemesh!)

Vacation Night 4 was game four of the MLB World Series. I don't need to recap the tragic events, but lets just say the eight inning marked a true low for Yankees fans. As we were watching the giant World Series foot heading in slow motion toward our collective left nut, A-Rob/Scott Boras gave us a quick shot to the right one. We're going to need an icepack the size of the Bronx to get us through the very, very long winter.

And then, on day five, we got the real bad news: Bud has a fever. (Yes, I do have some perspective). We found out in the early evening and were set to fly home the next day, so an earlier flight would not have made much of a difference. Still, we were in Aruba and wanted nothing more than to hop a flight and take care of Bud. We both felt trapped. What's more, we've been, so far, really lucky, and Bud has not yet had a fever...and this one topped 103, so needless to say, we really wanted to get home.

The flights from Aruba to Newark (via San Juan) are somewhere around 5 hours total; but it felt like a week. The last time I was on a Caribbean flight that felt that long, it was because the movie was "Rumor Has It." Ugghh....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vacation Days 2 & 3: What I Did on Bud-cation

"I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be." - Peter Gibbons, Office Space

Not exactly, although I did log quite a few hours sitting on the beach drinking fruity umbrella drinks and chasing invisible penguins. Not, wait, scratch the penguins, although I did have a few "Aruba Arribas" while reading "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs, a self-described Jew who is as Jewish as "the Olive Garden is an Italian Restaurant." The author spends a year living the bible as literally as possible: it's a good read, and I liked it especially for the daddying stories.

I also embarked on a jeep tour of Aruba. Newmommy and I rented a jeep and caravaned with a group around the island. Behold: one of the less than 2% of pics on my hard drive that does not include Bud or a pregnant Newmommy (and, I realize I am breaking the promise that I would not "post pictures from my off-road jeep tour"...well, too bad...also, I realize there IS a road in this picture...it was the beginning part of the tour):

Of course, our battery died and we needed a new jeep. And the "Natural Bridge," one of the major sights of the island, collapsed two years ago. And, we lost the Brazilian family about halfway through (which, according to our tour guide was typical of Brazilian tourists to Aruba- go figure).

What else did I do...hmm, let's see...aside from getting kicked in the jewels in the casino? I watched some crappy baseball game.

All in all, it was a fun time. And, the reports from Bud: she was laughing, smiling, eating ice cream, going on carousels...I was beginning to worry that she was having so much fun with the Grandparents Committee that she would want nothing of Newmommy and I!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vacation Day 1: Why you goin' to the airport? Flying Somewhere?

As promised:

We woke up at 5am to make our way to Newark Airport. Already, I am feeling anxious and questioning whether or not going on this trip is a good idea. This I think was brought on not only because we were going without Bud, but also because we were simply getting on a plane. See, sometime around 1999/2000, I developed a fear of flying. It didn't make sense, as I was a pretty regular flier averaging about 4-10 flights per year since my freshman year of high school. One day, it just came on. It wasn't so much of a fear that would keep me from my normal routine and planned trips, more of a dread that had me preoccupied for days prior to a flight. A trip to Europe in August of 2001 almost managed to break that fear; unfortunately my return flight on September 11 from London was turned around halfway across the Atlantic. That managed to set me back. It wasn't until a trip to Vegas for a bachelor party two years later that I realized I was pretty much over the fear.

While reading various 'fear of flying' books to help me understand why suddenly and for no apparent reason this fear developed, I came across a passage that suggested that new parents often develop fears of flying because they fear what consequences may befall their child should something go wrong on their flight. (That, of course, didn't answer my question, as I was not even married at the time, let alone a father). Although I didn't welcome back the full fear that I carried with me years ago, that thought definitely stayed with me until we touched down safely in Aruba.

Weed helped. More, accurately, I should say "Weeds" (the television show) helped; the first season of which I downloaded onto my iPod for the trip, at the suggestion of many. You were all correct: it's a great show. [Insert your best "Bud" pun here.]

Before dinner that evening we did our "call-in" at Newnana & Newgrampy's, who took the first babysitting shift. Bud got on the phone with a big "Da Da Da!" She didn't forget me. Yet.

Newmommy and I hit a sushi bar for dinner, and we ran into someone with whom I went to high school (although I don't remember him -- nor did he remember me.) Of course, he was with his wife and his eleven-month-old. Fantastic, these people found a way to bring their child on their trip, why couldn't I?

On the bright side: we had a great meal, and a fun night out without worrying about bathtimes, bedtimes or babysitters. Plus, I got some much-needed time alone with Newmommy. On the downside: well, I'm still missing my little girl, and battling the bad-father complex. And, on the really downside, the Red Sox just went ahead 2-0.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bad Parenting: Me?

I neglected to mention in my previous posts that at the conclusion of our move, Newmommy and I went away for four days to Aruba to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was a long-planned vacation that just ended up coinciding with our house closing.

It was also the first time we were away from Bud for that long. We had previous done one- and two-night getaways, but never a true leave-the-country vacation. So, naturally, as the months and weeks lead up to our departure, the question of whether or not this was "Bad Parenting" hit me pretty hard.

Very few people I know have left a less-than-two-year-old for five nights; but then again, Newmommy and I are in a unique position of having two local and extremely willing sets of babysitter-grandparents (not to mention a local aunt), so perhaps the trend is not a good indicator of whether or not I'm just a bad parent. What did bother me was the look on Bud's face when Newmommy and I came back from our first weekend away from her: the blank "I don't know you" stare. Heartbreaking. And the vision repeated on me while I determined whether or not to go. Still, I thought, that took no more than a few hours to fade away.

I managed to convince myself that going away was the right thing to do. Not only did it give me the opportunity to spend five days alone with Newmommy (which we hadn't done since September 2006, and even longer if you count little miss Kicky McKickstein in Newmommy's belly...), it gave Bud the opportunity to develop relationships with her grandparents without me and my wife hovering and criticizing their baby-tending abilities. Plus, it develops trust...Bud may get upset that mommy and daddy leave, but at least she'll understand that we come back. It also helps her develop some independence.

All good arguments which didn't do much for me dreading leaving my little girl. That's not to say I didn't have a good time...I definitely enjoyed (and needed) the time with my other girl. It's just hard not to think that, despite all of my PhD-level child psychology arguments, I'm not a bad dad for leaving my little girl for almost a week.

So, we will see how she reacts tomorrow morning, when Newnana and Newgrampy return with the princess. And, over the next few days, I will give you an even more in-depth look at Newdaddy's vacation. Don't worry...I am not posting my pictures from the off-road jeep tour; just focusing on the daddying topics.

(P.S. Another added bonus of the Aruba vacation was to be out of the country and, what I thought, out of the reach of major league baseball, during a time that I had a sneaking suspicion would not be good for the Yanks. Boy, was I wrong. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that our hotel was hosting an over-fifty-Red Sox fan retreat.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

DJ Newdaddy (or, Newdaddy Takes Requests)

Yes, I realize that I've used this title before. Originality: zero.

Parents of thirteen month-olds need to take on many jobs: doctor, psychologist, safety monitor (although I don't think you can get a degree in that), teacher. I never thought "disk jockey" would be on that list, but apparently it is.

Bud loves "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." Whenever she wants us to sing the song, she'll do the hand motion. For those of you who were not born in the teach-kids-sign language age, the hand motion to Twinkle is opening and closing your hands. Or, at least I am assuming that is an accepted sign, because I didn't teach Bud that, and I don't think Newmommy did either. Nor the "Itsy Bitsy Spider." Yet, whenever she does the hand motion, and we respond with the appropriate song, she laughs with delight. Nice.

It's getting a bit repetitive. Bud makes the sign, I sing the song, Bud laughs, claps, and then repeats the hand motion. So, the song is sung over and over and over. Of course, I'm not one to talk about repetition: I've seen "Fletch" probably over one hundred times. "Cavanaugh? Is that Morris or Pierre?"

Oh, and she learned how to turn on the TV today. I don't know if that's good or bad. She crawled to the TV, stood up holding the entertainment unit, and hit the power button. At least she knows that the remote is not a toy for girls!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

'Cause We're the Griswalds!!

I am officially a suburbanite.

For those of you who don't know Jersey and only picture one giant suburb plus Newark, you've probably already pegged me as a suburbanite. However, my former home was so close to Manhattan on the Jersey side, that I was almost as much of a New Yorker as a resident of the outer bouroughs. No, I could not order Malaysian food at 3am as I was able to (and did) back in my Manhattan days, but my commute to midtown was under an hour. No more.

I am now sitting in my new home office in my new home deep in suburban New Jersey. Let me give you a taste: our closing was Thursday afternoon. Last night (Friday), our next door neighbors officially welcomed us to the neighborhood with an apple pie. That just does not happen in Manhattan.

Bud's been pretty confused, although I think she's starting to get comfortable. Her room looks almost the same as her old room; but I'm sure she notices the different sounds, smells and feels of the new house. Also, Newmommy and I, taking poor advice from a professional babyproofer (more on that to come...) removed the bumpers from Bud's crib, making her first night in a strange place even more difficult. The bumpers are back in. She's looking around a lot, she seems very interested in her surroundings and, with the added space of the new house, we're able to designate a playroom for her, which she's beginning to take to.

Oh, and we're now a two-car family, with the second car being an (ugh...) SUV. It's really Newmommy's car. Nevertheless, I think there's now no doubt that I am a true suburbanite having the ol' Family Truckster. (Don't worry, I did not get it in metallic pea.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Kid's Cuter Than Your Kid

Parents: does everyone think that their kid is genuinely unique and cuter than every other kid out there? I think that about Bud, but I'm sure every parent feels this way. But Bud is really, really cute. Check this out:
  • Yesterday, she was crying at the playground, so to calm her down I gave her my keys. She immediately got a huge smile on her face, and, for the next fifteen minutes, talked (babbled) to the keys and repeated "keeeeeeyyyyyy."
  • She also started saying "me" this week. Actually it's more like "me, me, me." I said, "who has the best daddy in the world?" She responded, "me, me, me!" How could you NOT love that?
  • She's a little scared of her "Baby Tad," this frog that sings songs. But, she loves the songs (and, in the age of "Music Together" and the Laurie Berkner Band, I'm glad they are the classics..."Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and "Twinkle, Twinkle.") Whenever I play the songs, she laughs, and climbs into my lap. (She also knows the hand motions to those songs...I didn't teach her, Newmommy didn't teach her....where the hell did she learn them?)
  • Right now, she is on the baby monitor calling to me to play: "Dada! Dada!" Go to sleep! (But, it's so damn cute.)

As I read this, I realize there is nothing highly unusual or un-thirteen-months-old-ish on here, but, I really do think she's the cutest kid in the world. I know it can't really be true, but, at the same time, I really think it is.

OK, enough with the puppydogs and ice cream.

The move is this week, and as soon as I hit "Publish Post" and watch this stupid video (to which, for some reason, I am addicted) one more time (yes, it's stupid...but, as the person who sent it to me said- watch it twice through), I am going to unplug my computer and pack it up. That means no posting until the weekend. Ohhh nooo!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And Now Back to your Regularly Scheduled Blog

And, just like that, the baseball season is over. All I can say about the 2007 ALDS is: Ow My Balls! Well, in the immortal words of the Dalai Lama, right after losing his golfball into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, "Goonga L'goonga."


We now return to your regularly scheduled blog.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday Morning Potpourri

I hear the criticisms that lately I have turned the focus of this blog away from daddying and towards the recent sporting tournament that has been going on. So, for those who need their fill of parenting thoughts, here you go:
  • Nothing is gradual. Non-parents sometimes make fun of those parents who follow their kid around with a camera all the time. The reason they do that is, for at least the first thirteen months of a kid's life, a major breakthrough can happen at any minute. For the longest time, Bud did not crawl. Then, within the course of less than two months, she crawled, speed-crawled, stood and climbed up the stairs!
  • Word of the Day: Key. Whenever Bud sees a key, she says "Keeeeey."
  • You know your life is over when...it's 8:55am on a Sunday, you've already had breakfast, and you're on your way to Home Depot to buy towel rods. We may go to Bed, Bath and Beyond later, I don't know if we'll have enough time...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

An Open Letter

To Johnny Damon (1 for 9), Derek Jeter (1 for 8), Robinson Cano (1 for 7), Hideki Matsui (0 for 7), Jorge Posada (0 for 7) and A-Rod (0 for 6):

Friday, October 05, 2007

Visit Beautiful Cleveland

Sour grapes? You betcha! Two games in a row we got the ol' Cleveland steamroll...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When is a Baby not a Baby? When she's a Toddler

Yesterday I asked, "at what point is [Bud] no longer "Baby Bud" and "Little Girl Bud?" (In retrospect, I realize that the grammar is incorrect, but how many English teachers out there are reading this?) The question is: when does a baby become a not-baby?

Today, I got my answer from my weekly e-mail from Babycenter, which was titled, for the first time "Your Toddler This Week." Previously, it was "Your Baby This Week."

And, as we know, the internets is never wrong.

So, there you have it. Bud is a toddler. And I am old.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

When is a Baby not a Baby?

As I watched my almost-thirteen-month-old climb up a set of stairs today (which she did for the first time while I was at work), I was struck by how non-baby like she is. She's got a full head of hair with curls in the back, she was wearing jeans, she is really communicating with us...at what point is she no longer "Baby Bud" and "Little Girl Bud?"

Some thoughts, none of which I really like:
  • When she walks
  • When she speaks sentences. (Or, when she asks a question)
  • When she says 'no'
  • When she releases her first album
  • When she is 1 (or 2, or some other chronological milestone)
  • When she starts school

Any thoughts? (And, if she is no longer "Baby Bud", is it fair for me to still be "Newdaddy"?)

Oh, and when is a Yankee Fan not a Yankee Fan? Tonight? Here's my question: who do you root for in the Red Sox - Angels series? With the terrible track record (not to mention post-season track record) the Yankees have against the Angels, we'd probably rather see Boston next week than L.A. Also, if the Yankees and Red Sox meet up in the ALCS, we can avenge the tragic events of 2004.

On the other hand, what self-respecting Yankee Fan roots for the Red Sox under any circumstances? Plus, and I hate myself for saying this, what if the ALCS is New York/Boston, and it turns into a trainwreck-a-la-'04? Yikes.

Finally, and I'll write more about this in the coming weeks, the Newfamily is moving! The move is going to be in a few weeks. Don't worry Garden State, we're staying within the Jersey borders...however, Bud and her accessories take up a tremendous amount of space...and we need space.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I Gave My Love a Cherry...

Bud is very much into her "Music Together" class. The songs are oddly addictive. Prior to each session, participants are given a CD of that session's music selections. A first pass through the CD is fairly annoying, especially knowing that CD will be pretty much the only thing played in your car for the next three months. However, by the inevitable twenty-fifth time through, your musical sense will have turned into something similar to that of a one-year-old, and you'll see the CD much in the same way I saw "Paul's Boutique" my sophomore year of college. That, and, kids love the music...Bud immediately calms when the CD goes on, claps when her favorite songs end, and "demands" we sing them during feeding times.

The lyrics of some of the songs are a bit strange. For example:

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?/
I've been to London to visit the queen./
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?/
I frightened a mouse from under her chair.

Don't get it. You would think Buckingham Palace would have pretty decent exterminators, no?

We got the new CD yesterday. Have you ever had a hysterical moment that no one is around to appreciate? I'm in the car with Bud, and all of a sudden "The Riddle Song" comes on!! I nearly lost it. You've heard the Riddle Song, but probably don't know it by name. It goes a little something like this...


It will be a while before Bud realizes why it's funny. And what a proud day that will be for daddy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

BOOOYAHH!!!


(I know, it's loser talk not to post the AL East Champion T-Shirt as the Yanks are not out of the running yet. But, given the respective records of Cleveland and Los Angeles, I'd rather get the wild card, as I think the Yanks have a much better chance against the Indians. See, for example, 2002 and 2005).

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm a Rock Star

You know why I love being a daddy?

Every morning when I go into Bud's room, she gives me applause.

Every night when I get home from work, she screams "Da da da da da!"

I'm a rock star in my own home.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Three-Year-Old Games of the Twenty-First Century

It's been a while since I was three years old; twenty-eight years, to be exact. And, in that time, kid's games have changed quite a bit. I was on the playground today with Bud, and noticed a three-year-old boy playing "Starbucks." Not tag, not kickball, not SPUD...not even house. He was playing Starbucks. In his defense, he was pretty good at it, he got his "customer" a half-caf-triple-skim-mocha-frap with two pumps of sugar-free vanilla. I don't even know what that is; so I'm not going to knock it.


P.S. This was not my first choice for a graphic. My first choice was a shot from that scene in Zoolander where they're all drinking Orange Mocha Frappuchinos and end up blowing themselves up at a gas station. My second choice was a scene from Austin Powers II where Dr. Evil is in his Starbucks tower. A quick Google search yielded nothing. I was too lazy to push further.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm Drinking Milk...and One Day I'll Be Big and Strong

Remember those milk commercials from the '80s...a scrawny ten year-old nerd (read: me) talking to the would-be prom queen..."You may not think much of me now, but I'm drinking milk, and one day I'm gonna hit that." Well, it turns out those commercials were right. (No, I did not "tap" the prom queen...with my little Jew-fro.) Bud had milk for the first time today. And, later in the day, she pulled herself up to a stand for the first time.

Coincidence?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What Am I, Chopped Liver?

Shana Tova (if applicable; if not, this is still a good story).

This was Bud's first Rosh Hashanah eating foods other than formula. During the holiday, we learned that our little one-year-old has the appetite of a Jewish grandmother. She devoured a plate of chopped liver...chopper liver! What one-year-old eats chopped liver? In all fairness, this particular liver is pretty epic. It comes from an old family recipe that's already in Bud's blood...she doesn't realize it yet; but she already knows how to make it! Each bite was followed by a loud "MMMM!!!" Also on the greatest hits lineup: noodle kugel.

Not so much on the gefilte fish. That made it onto the floor, along with the chicken.

Also, this weekend, Bud started repeating words that we say. She's starting with words like "car," and "bubble," and "banana." It's time for Newmommy and I to play the "watching what we say" game...you know, that annoying thing where parents s-p-e-l-l everything.

"Mrs. Flanders: Excuse me Edna, I don't think were talking about love here. We're talking about S-E-X. In front of the C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N."

"Krusty: Sex Cauldron! I thought they closed that place down."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Of Love and Nausea

"There's a very fine line between love and nausea." - King Joffe Joffer, Ruler of Zamunda

Bud had her one-year checkup at the pediatrician yesterday, where she got four (!) shots. The doctor warned us that she may have a reaction to them; perhaps a rash, perhaps a fever.

She didn't mention projectile vomit.

Your humble narrator got home from work last night as Newmommy was feeding Bud. It seemed like a typical night. As I was changing, I hear the sound of disgust from Newmommy (albeit somewhat muted, for Bud's sake, of course). Bud had thrown up all over her, the glider and the carpet. And, I don't mean spit-up or "cheese." I mean chunky, recognizable-food-pieces, if-I-was-in-college-I-would-have-someone-hold-my-hair-back barf. I recognized her dinner, but could not place the large orange chunks. Newmommy explained, "that was the cantaloupe I fed her at lunch." Yuck, how long does it take to digest?

I decide the division of labor...Newmommy, you go clean yourself up, and then the chair and floor. I will clean up Bud and give her a (second) bath.

I chose poorly.

Just as I picked her up, she puked all over me! Either my baby eats more than anyone I know, or that throw-up contained some of the weekend's meals.

Baby throw up. Priceless.

P.S. When did they come out with the Chicken Pox vaccine? What's first grade going to be like without two-weeks of sitting in a bathtub of Calamine lotion?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Not-So Newdaddy

[Note: my posts typically follow a logical line of reasoning in order to establish or discuss a single theme. In honor of my surviving my first year of fatherhood, I have decided to waive that rule for tonite. Thanks for indulging me.]

Today marks the last day of my first year as a father. The question that keeps running through my head is the same question that has been haunting me since one-year-ago tomorrow: am I a good father? It's a really tough question to answer; especially because the real tests probably have not hit me yet.

Fatherhood is a unique experience for which no one can prepare you. Sure, everyone can give you the same "warnings" (lack of sleep, diaper changes, etc.), and the typical "advice" (buy this stroller, use this magical product), but what nobody tells you is that none of that really matters. When I think back about the previous year; the sleepless nights, diaper changes, feedings, burpings, etc. are secondary to the major events: the first babble, the first crawl, the first word...even the time the little stinker broke my glasses. I doubt I will remember any one dirty diaper; but I remember hundreds of specific smiles.

(That's not exactly true, we were at the diner once and Bud decided it would be a good time to take a dump. She pushed and pushed, her face turned bright red and her eyes were tearing. It was as if she was passing a Toyota through her digestive system. I was terrified to change that diaper. When we opened it up; the poop was the size of a pea. I will never understand the physics of baby poop, but will always remember the "Princess and the Pea Poop.")

(Oh yeah, I probably will remember the dump she took on the way to Puerto Rico. Anyway, now that I've disproved my point....)

Bud turning one blows my mind. A buddy of mine said, "wow, one year old, that's, like, a real person." (I guess we know what his view on abortion is...)

And, while we're on the subject, where's this blog going after one year? I'm not sure, but I've received two comments that the baseball theme has overtaken the fatherhood theme. Here's my response to that: for a blog to be good, it's got to have a topic. Blogs that simply record a random person's thoughts are often times unreadable. However, good blogs are also ones that tell stories, and it's hard to tell interesting stories when you have no color on the characters. I am not "all-daddy." So, I'm going to throw in my other interests from time to time. Just be glad I don't bring up any work-related topics.

I'm going to go to bed now. One year ago tonight, I "slept" on the "cot" on the hospital floor. Tonight promises to be a lot more comfortable. Oh yeah, Newmommy's night will probably be a bit more comfortable, too.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Cutting Room Floor

I realize that it's been a while since my last post. I started this blog on the every-other-day cycle, and then switched over to the "whenever I have a good acceptable idea" cycle, because if I have to force one out; it's just not going to be that good.

I also realize that Bud's 1st birthday is Saturday, and I should have some sharable thoughts on the subject. I guess the story there is that it's a lot of pressure: how do I summarize my first year as a father? There just isn't a good enough YouTube video to accomplish that feat.

So, while this writer's block continues, I present below a list of posts that I started, but just wasn't Newdaddyworthy. Here we go:

(1) "I'm Not Cool Anymore": The story of how I went from semi-cool in the early part of this decade to not-so-cool now. I liked this post, because I regale the reader about how I used my "skills" to pick up Newmommy, but, in the end, it was too depressing to post.

(2) "My Super Sweet One": A list of rejected theme's for Bud's first birthday party. It just wasn't funny. (Hint: Hillary Clinton was the subject of one.)

(3) "Bottle for Daddy": I honestly don't remember where this was going...perhaps Daddy really did have a Bottle before he starting writing!

(4) "Hands up! Baby, Hands up!": When Bud lifted her hands in the air on cue, I wanted to write a post about it. But, I decided against it, because she didn't waive them around like she just didn't care.

(5) "Just Bring Me My Food": About overly child-friendly waitresses. I may pick this one up at some point.

My goal is to have something a bit more meaningful before Bud's birthday. If not, there's always next year!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

How SWEEP it is!!!

I don't know what it is, but something in me wants to post THIS picture:

Strange, huh? Don't you just love August baseball? I know, "but the Yanks are still 5 games out of the AL East." To that I say: before the A-Rod "Ha" incident, they were 14 1/2 out. Some might consider that a pretty sizable collapse of the first place team (whose name is escaping me at the moment).
2090!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

You Gotta Have a Montage

From the "Be Careful What You Wish For" files:

Two weeks ago, I announced that Bud started crawling. This chick is everywhere now! Big pile of toys in the bedroom? Forget it, let's go into mommy and daddy's bedroom...let's see what's in the kitchen. Oh, this drawer looks fun, let's open it. Watching her go from pretty much staying in one spot to spanning the length of my house over the course of only two weeks is like watching a montage from an '80s movie.

P.S. The Bad Parenting hit parade continued last night. Newgrandma and Newgrandpa watched Bud so that Newmommy and I could go to a comedy show. It was at the Garden State PNC Bank Arts Center, so naturally there was a lot of Jersey material. To truly round out a Jersey evening, we decided to do a midnight diner stop, complete with cheese fries and a chocolate milkshake. (Disco fries were considered, and rejected.) At the diner, we saw a woman holding and feeding a three-month-old. It drove Newmommy and I crazy. HEY! LADY!! Get that baby into a crib where he belongs!!

Not such a good story, I know, but I needed an excuse to mention the cheese fries.

P.P.S. Thanks, Seattle, for finally taking an "L" last night. Keep doing that. (I am not saying that I have given up on the AL East, but I am going to save my Boston-banter for the upcoming series.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Keeehhhhh-chup!

A few weeks ago, we were at a BBQ, sitting on our blanket with a few other couples and their kids. Bud, having finished her dinner, notices that the two-year-old sitting next to her has got a big plate of food but, perhaps most intriguing, a giant glob of ketchup (catsup?). There's nothing more fun than putting your hand in a pile of ketchup right? So, she reaches for it.

Does the daddy of the two-year-old stop her? Of course, not. All this genius does is say, "Ketchup!!" Actually, it was more like "Keeeeeeehhhhhh-chup."

As I was washing the ketchup out of everything, I tried to come up with better reactions to seeing an eleven-month-old about to stick her hand in ketchup. Here's my list:

(1) Try to stop her arm. (I understand, some people are uncomfortable touching others' children, even in those circumstances...and I can respect that. However...)
(2) Move the plate away. (It was his kid's plate, so there is no excuse.)
(3) Try to distract her. (A father of a two-year-old has the experience in that department...at least put in some effort, man!)
(4) Anything. Get up, walk away, grab a beer, put on a clown suit, I don't care. But, don't encourage my daughter to grab ketchup!

Keeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhh-chup. I mean...come on!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yankees 9, Detroit 3, Bad Parents 2: Oh Yeah...

Forgot this gem:

After the chair-falling, beer-juggling incident, Mrs. Row M, about half-way down her third beer, said, "I feel so 'Unparently.'" No, it's not a word, but yes, it was dead-on.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yankees 9, Detroit 3, Bad Parents 2

With Newgrandma and Newgrandpa watching Bud, Newmommy and I climbed to Row N of the Tier Reserved section of Yankees Stadium yesterday, and watched the Bombers silence the Tigers 9-3. While Wang's pitching was uneventful, the young tag-team of Joba & Edwar pitched 3 perfect innings.
What made this victory so sweet was that the big "L" went to Bonderman. You remember Bonderman, right? More good news as we were leaving Yankee Stadium: the California, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Los Angeles of Anaheim....well, the West Coast Not Red Sox won, bringing the Yankees to within four of the AL East Crown. Stupid Seattle had to win and ruin my perfect day. Stupid day-ruiner.

Which brings me to Tier Reserved Row M, seats to two of the worst parents I have ever seen. Mr. & Mrs. Row M (and extended family) brought their adorable little three-year-old girl to see the game. Definitely a point in their favor. But, as an impartial ump...these parents are 0-1 in parenting in my book (big strikeout, definitely not 'looking'):

Strike One: letting the kid stand on her fold-down seat without supervision, leading to the inevitable fall and the even-more-inevitable giant bruise between the eyes.

Strike Two: waiting 1 1/3 innings to get up and get ice for the developing welt.

Strike Three: trying to carry out the kid in one hand, beer in the other.

The parents' combined beer total equaled the number of runs scored by the Yankees. That may have been acceptable in May, but not today.

P.S. Thank you Angels. You can stop winning now.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Babynames@Screwupyourkidslife.com

Did you hear about the Chinese couple who tried to name their baby "@"? I'm not making this up! The couple meant well...the Chinese call the symbol "at" when its used in e-mail addresses (as is the case in English) and "ai ta" in Mandarin means "love him." But can you imagine the amount of spam that this kid's going to get??

[Feel free to insert whatever "where you at" joke you find most funny here...]

I like my idea better: auction the kid's name off. Before Bud was born, I had this idea to write to a number of major corporations, giving the right to name my child to the highest bidder. Think of it: "Continental Airlines Newfamily." Or "Coca-cola Newfamily." We're talking a whole lifetime's worth of publicity! Everywhere that kid went, he'd be a walking advertisement...it would be worth millions! Oh sure, it may screw the kid up for life, but certainly no more than naming the kid @! Also, the revenue would cover college. Plus, the kid would have first-hand experience in the field of marketing and advertising.

It didn't take Newmommy very long to drop the veto on that one.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Culinary Milestone

Bud had her first big chewy pretzel....

...merjanthfgrr....five dollars? Get out of here!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I call this "Garage of a One-Year Old"

This is my garage...it once was the home to my car. It is now the home of my eleven-month-old's outgrown toys.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We Have a Crawler!

Bud crawled for the first time today! Until now, she's gotten around by some kind of modified reach/roll maneuver, but today she full-on crawled across the kitchen floor. Over the last few weeks, she has been attempting to pull herself up on furniture to a stand position, and I thought she may be one of those babies who walks without crawling first. Guess not.

What was interesting was that she crawled the day after I removed the baby swing and bouncy-seat (both of which are outgrown...) from the kitchen. Maybe she needed the runway space!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Eww-yew Boo-boo Dew-dew


I am not a dog person. Even before Newmommy got pregnant, I have been scheming my side of the "Can We Get a Dog, Daddy?" discussion so that the end result is not one where I pick up an animal's feces with a plastic bag. Honestly, do you see those doodie-handlers? That's grosser than diaper changing, hands-down!


Good friends of ours got a dog two days ago. This dog happens to rank pretty high on the cuteness scale and, coming from me that's pretty huge. Not having been around dogs for much of my life, I didn't realize that getting a dog is a lot like bringing home a baby. First of all, a once one-language household becomes dual-language: English and babytalk. People talk to dogs as if they are babies..."whose mommy's good boy?" "Did shumone go pee-pee?" Second, dog responsibilities seem very similar to baby responsibilities. Last night, the couple we were with had to return to their home because the dog was alone. And, when we got there, they had to clean up doggy poop or puke, or whatever that brown stuff was. Third, dogs require "stuff"...squeeky toys, a bed, special food...soon, the owner's stuff is displaced for stuff for the new arrival. Finally (and to round out this nicely-structured third-grade-style four-point paragraph), dogs seem to instantly become the object of the family's affection, over everyone else...just like when you bring home a baby. I don't want to steal Louis C.K.'s bit from "Shameless", but it basically involves a once-close married couple bringing home their baby...their flesh-and-blood, the person for whom they would take a bullet, and then looking at each other asking, "who the fuck are you?"


So, no, we're never getting a dog. I can list the reasons (responsibilities, walking, the smell, etc.) But it's mostly the handling of dog poop. And, in the immortal words of Sarah Silverman, "I don't need two reasons when doody's involved."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Happy Blog-o-versary to me

Today, I (and, you, I guess) celebrate the one-year anniversary of Newdaddy! What will the next year bring? Will I post the definitive treatise on how to stop a crying baby regardless of the circumstances? Will Bud write her own guest post before her second birthday? Will I learn to accept and not be annoyed by jerk-offs in parking lots who see me folding up a stroller and say, "Hey, Dad...having fun? I remember when I was doing that."

Happy Blog-o-versary, my faithful readers. (Including you, Mr. Google-search-for "fake breast in the movie Meet the Parents.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Then & Now

Wow, what a difference five years makes...the 2002 trip to Cape Cod is quite different than this year's. Let's look at the most memorable differences, shall we?

Total # of Children:
2002: one, a dog, if you consider that a child. I don't.
2007: three.

Song Stuck in My Head Throughout Trip:
2002: Nelly's "Hot in Heere" [sic]
2007: Laurie Berkner's "Let's go Swimming"

Most Common Reason for Leaving the Beach:
2002: Miller Time
2007: Nap Time

Most Frequent Program Played on TV:
2002: "American Idol" (Not my choice).
2007: Sesame Street's "Beginning Together" (Not my choice).

Most Frequent Game Played:
2002: Backgammon
2007: "Bud has a cup on her head"

Wake-up Time:
2002: There was one?
2007: 7am

Monday, July 30, 2007

L'il Lenin

We rented a house with another family in Cape Cod. It's a nice place, but it does not get the YES Network...instead, they have something here called NESN, but there's really nothing on for some reason. And people don't seem to like my Yankees cap very much...strange.

The other family are old friends of ours, and in a weird way we are celebrating the five year anniversary of our last trip to Cape Cod. This trip has three new participants: Bud, and our friend's two children: a three-year-old and a sixteen-month-old...all girls. The toy situation is pretty funny, everyone's interested in everything. Bud grabs the younger sister's toy, which prompts me to give the "share" speech...and it went something like this...

"Bud, you should share. Because, if you share your toys with others, they will share your toys with you....and then everyone has more toys to play with!"

My friend hears this, and calls from the other room: "Sounds like communism to me." Touche'.

Why he's a good parent: apparently, about three weeks ago, the older daughter declares, "I want beers." Plural. Awesome.

P.S. I'm old. I gave the "you should share" speech. Last week I was the "adult" in "children below this height must be accompanied by an adult."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yodl-aye-EEEE-hoooo!

Bud got her first tooth! Newmommy noticed it by accident on Monday afternoon.

That's parenthood for you...everything's a milestone, and every day is a different celebration. Last week, not only did Bud sit up on her own for the first time, but I also heard her yodel. You're probably laughing at my taking note of this milestone, but do you remember your first yodel? I didn't think so. (Readers from Switzerland excluded, obviously.)


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Acknowledge the Cuteness

Hey! When I am walking down the street with my baby, and she's babbling at all of the passersby, I know it's the cutest thing you've seen a day (her, not me, although I'm pretty damn cute if I do say so my damn self). This little ten-month-old is trying to explain something to you while eating her toes...yes, objectively, that is cute. So, smile dammit. Don't just walk by pretending not to notice...I know you saw her; so acknowledge the cuteness.

You don't have to stop and chat; you don't need to ask how old she is (10 months), does she have teeth yet (no), does she sleep through the night (yes), how long does she sleep (12 hours, typically)...just acknowledge the cuteness.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm Going to Have to Kick My Own Ass

We found out over the weekend that friends of ours are pregnant. Well, actually the woman of the couple is the pregnant one, but pregnancy is pretty rough on the men too, so I guess I can credit them both with the pregnancy. Anyway, we got on the subject of current movies and, as a new father, I haven't had many movie-going opportunities recently. But that is no excuse for what I said..."Get your movies in now!" Have I forgotten what it was like being a soon-to-be-newdaddy...all the unsolicited advice? The minute the words left my mouth I cringed that I had said that...and Newmommy was quick to call me out on it. Man, I love this chick.

In other news, this morning when Newmommy and I opened Bud's door, she was sitting up in her crib, talking to her stuffed animals. She turns and looks at us as if to say "What are you looking at?" Bud sits up on her own now, I guess.

In other other news, I have recaptured my winning Yankees-game attendance record, improving last night to 3-2. I'm beating Clemens!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Hall of Lost Stuff

Tonight we salute my old pair of glasses. I purchased them in August of 2001, right after the bar exam, and right before I started working at my former firm. Through those glasses, I saw a lot: Europe, my honeymoon, late nights at the office...but, alas, I will see through those glasses no more. Their fate was met at the hands of my daughter last week, when she grabbed the glasses off my face, shook them, and broke one of the arms off. Godspeed, glasses.

Short post, I know...Cablevision is giving a preview of the MLB package and, where as before I was only watching one game, I can now watch three or more. Awesome. But completely unnecessary.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Baby

"You didn't know English that whole first year of your life. You had that made-up, like, goo-goo, gaa-gaa baby language. It was really irritating." - Phil Weston (played by Will Ferrell) in "Kicking and Screaming"

Bud has said her first word: "Baby." She's actually been saying it for a few weeks now, but I hadn't been sure that it was her real first word. The real first word had two tests: first, it had to be a real English word, no baby nonsensical words like "ma-ma," "da-da," or "Red Sox." A few weeks ago, she was babbling something that sounded like baby, but it was only recently that it was full-on "baby." Second, the word couldn't be mumbled accidentally. Bud's said things like "oat bran," "baked potato," and "burlap," but all of it was babble (or a burp). The word had to be associated somehow with something she was looking at. Over the past few weeks, she's said "baby" every time she sees her reflection or sees another baby, in a picture or on the street.

I always thought that Bud's first word was going to just happen one day, and that I wouldn't just realize it in retrospect. I figured one day, I'd be sitting in the kitchen, feeding Bud puffs (or, as I like to call it, "Baby Crack"), when she would turn to me and say "Daddy!" The game-show bells would ring, and we would record the date in Bud's book-o-memories.

It didn't happen that way, but I'll take it.

P.S. I did not find "Kicking and Screaming" that funny, but the quote just worked.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bud's "Best-of" Album

Having now passed the ten-month birthday, Bud is clearly demonstrating "likes." When I discover new favorites, I'll share them with you. Let's get the list started:
  • The "So-Big" Game. Even though nobody asks "how big is Bud?" She puts her hands in the air regardless. She has yet to wave them around like she just doesn't care, though.
  • Mariachi Bands. Take a ten-month-old to a Mexican restaurant right around bed time...see what happens when a loud Mariachi band comes out. The baby cries, right? Wrong, Bud started laughing and clapping.
  • Dogs. I don't know where she gets this from...Newmommy and I aren't dog people. In fact, we're considering telling her that one of us is allergic if she asks for one! However, when a dog comes over to Bud, she giggles and snorts (which, as they say in those commercials is "Cute at one, no so cute at twenty-one.")
  • Mirrors. She's so vain, she probably thinks this post is about her.
  • Zippers. No idea.
That's good for now; I want to get back to the All-Star Game. I'm in the camp that thinks the whole home-field advantage thing is pretty dumb but, as a Yankees fan, it's been working out in our best interest. It just kills me to be rooting for David Ortiz.

And, while watching the Home Run Derby last night, I realized that the winner, Vladimir Guerrero looks just like Coolio. Observe below (strange that I found a picture of Coolio in an Angels jersey...)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Toilet Humor

Pop quiz, hotshot. You're at a friend's house and you've really gotta take a whizz. You go into the guest bathroom and, on top of the toilet seat is the plastic "mini-toilet seat" that your friend uses to train his three-year-old. You can't quite lift the toilet seat, as the mini-toilet doesn't go up all the way. Oh, and you're a guy. What do you do...what do you do?

A. Remove the mini-toilet seat and reattach it when you are done.

B. Do the pee-while-holding-the-seat maneuver.

C. Find an alternative to the bathroom: a third or master bathroom, behind a tree outside, the sink....

D. Hope that your aim is on.

A is a bit of a pain, and, if you're like me, sometimes those clip/strap adjustable things don't work out quite right. C may not be an option in some houses, during the winter or if there are a lot of people around. And we all know the risks of B and D.

Thoughts?

Oh, and if our dinner hosts from last night are reading this, you can rest easy...your toilet seat went all the way up, so I did not need to resort to any questionable methods.

Or did I?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Formula Brings all the Boys to the Yard

Friends of ours invited us to a Fourth of July BBBQ. There were about six couples, Bud and one of the other couple's 16-month-old boy. And, when you're a near-ten-month-old, if someone knows someone of similar age, they always want to set you up.

At around dessert time, the little boy awoke from his nap and was brought downstairs to meet this chick everyone's been talking about. "It's on!!" yells the host.

He slowly approaches Bud, who catches him in the corner of her eye. She turns to him, and being the social one, gives him a smile. Then, she let out a scream of joy: "AAAAHHHH!" That's where it ended: the boy got scared, cried, and I think crapped himself.

Bud needs to learn to play hard-to-get...either that, or be a bit less intimidating.

She did look upset when the little boy got scared, and I could of sworn the look on her face was one of "what did I do wrong?"

Sunday, July 01, 2007

They Fight and Fight and Fight, This is See-wee-uhs

Let me bring you back to my childhood for a moment (RSS readers click through):



And now a little peek into Bud's cartoon experiences:





There apparently have been a lot of changes over the past twenty-or-so years. Today's cartoons are teaching children teamwork, foreign languages and problem-solving skills. The cartoons of my day merely taught that explosives and the Acme corporation could basically solve any problem. If Bud is in the middle of the woods in South America, she's going to have no trouble whatsoever finding "Fiesta Island," so long as no sneaky little foxes try to jack her backpack. That's fantastic, the best I can say is: I'm all set if a coyote ever tries to run me off of a cliff.

P.S. In researching today's post I found this. A little bit of old-meets-new. Wonderpets fans: don't click.

P.P.S. I want to preserve a bit of anonymity...but I want to thank a certain North Carolinianite with two kids, one of which loves Percy, for inspiring this post.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

No Joy in Mudville

Today we (me, Newmommy, Newaunt, and Newgrandma) took Newgrandpa to the Yankees game as his father's day present and, oh how I wish I got him a tie....or cufflinks....or allowed him to use this day to get a colonoscopy- it would have been much more pleasant.

In case you're not scoring at home: 7-0 Oakland. Our one moment of glory was a Johnny Damon hit in the sixth: the only Yankee hit of the game. We did not bring Bud to the game, but, if we did, she would have made it longer than the Yankee's starting pitcher: Kei Igawa. The highlights of the game surrounded fans catching foul balls (there were some great catches, by the way). This puts my season to 2-2.

That team needs to undergo some major personnel changes if we're ever going to rebuild the dynasty of the late '90s.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Home Alone

That's right...Newmommy and Bud took a mini-vacation with some friends, leaving me to hold down the fort on my own. It's so rare that I get this place to myself....what can I do with all this space and free time?
  • Watch "Futurama" and "Reno 911" and other shows that Newmommy can't stand.
  • Talk really, really, loud in my house without fear of waking up Bud.
  • Watch the developing train wreck Yankees-Orioles series. (Seriously, Proctor walked in the winning run. Have I ever told you how much I sucked in little league?? Last night's game reminded me of my far, far, far, far left field days.)
  • Work on my fantasy football roster. Here's who I have so far, I'd appreciate suggestions:
      • Fred 'Ogre' Palowakski (Ogre! Ogre! Ogre!)
      • Charles Jefferson (he's still pretty pissed about his car)
      • Randall 'Pink' Floyd (even though he's due for a major attitude adjustment)
      • Bobby Boucher (if his mom let's him play 'the foosball')
      • Jake Wyler (Mr. Better-not-ruin-my-perfect-season better not ruin my perfect season)
      • Jon Moxon (I don't want your life)
  • Catch up on Vinny Chase. OK, you win, I'll also catch up on the polygamists. I will remain behind on my two newest friends.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Who's That Ba-boo Looking in the Mirror?

Bud has made a new friend...her reflection. I commented earlier that, on Father's Day, she fell in love with a doorknob. Well, Bud has actually befriended every doorknob in our house, and every faucet, and every mirror. She looks at her reflection and says "ba-ba." Sometimes it's "ba-boo," some times it's just "ba," occasionally it's "Bob," and sometimes....just sometimes, it's "Barbara." I am taking it for "baby." It's either that, or she's befriended some couple named Bob and Barbara.

And, if that's not enough, on the culinary front: Bud had her first pizza! Daddy gave her a little piece, after which she tried to grab the entire slice. Good girl...good girl!! There will be plenty more of that! She also had her first mac-'n-cheese.

P.S. Sorry about the recent lapse in posting: I've been destracted- we may be moving. Also, I've been watching the recent train wreck that is the New York Yankees. They managed to pull back to 7 1/2 out and, just like that, it's back to the double-digits. Looking at the schedules, I think David Ortiz's arm would have to fall off for us to take the AL East, but...as my father-in-law says, "It's the Yankees..." So, we'll keep the hope around here. In the meantime, this post is a great summary of the past decade of Yankees baseball.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Highlights

My first father's day was certainly memorable, and not just because I won $36 playing the 4-6 exacta in the 8th race at Monmouth Park, although that certainly would have made the highlight reel.

Bud's first present of the morning was certainly well received: she slept until 8am. The day was off to a good start!

All throughout the weekend we had suspected she had taken a cognitive step, but after she woke up, it was confirmed- my little girl is clapping and waving 'goodbye.' What makes this so important in my mind is that she is responding to what we say: when we say "clap, clap, clap your hands", she does. When we say "bye, bye", she waves, and mumbles something that sounds like "bye," although I am not ready to officially declare the First Word yet.

As I mentioned, the afternoon was spent at Monmouth Park, betting on the horses. It's not as sketchy as it sounds: the whole family- Newmommy, the Grandparents Committee and Newaunt- got a parterre for the day, which was a nice touch. And, despite my $36 win, I think I came out about even. Bud, however, fell in love with a doorknob. She saw her reflection and chatted with the thing the entire day.

Back to Newgrandpa and Newgrandma's house for a BBBQ. Ladies and gentlemen, Bud had her first hamburger. The Corner Bistro is not too far away, although I think it'll be a few more years until she's ordering $2 beers. ("Can I be a boozehound? Not 'till your fifteen...")

Did I mention Bud claps? On the drive home, we were listening to the Yankees/Mets game. A-Rod hit a homerun. I start clapping and Bud follows right behind me! Rooting for the right team at 9-months...priceless.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Stupidest Question Ever Asked About Bud

I wish you all could have been there as Newdaddy history was made Tuesday night. Newmommy and I were at a party, when some lady, after hearing that we had a nine-month-old at home, asked the single stupidest question ever asked about Bud. And here it is:

"What's it like having a Virgo..."

...and, if that wasn't enough...the follow-up:

"...is she really organized?"

Yes. After waking up at exactly 6:00am and going for her 5 mile jog, Bud meticulously records her total running time and average time per mile into her workout log. She checks her blackberry, and then reviews her daily Lotus Notes schedule.

"Ah, exer-saucer at 9am today; followed by a 10am bottle. Better postpone that conference call with the Teddy Bear, the learn-to-count caterpillar and my blankie!"

Milestone: Bud figured out how to clap yesterday. With cream cheese in hand (and on arm, and all over face) she clapped once, giggled, and then clapped again. You can see the wheels turning.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Night Potpourri

Some random thoughts on a Sunday night:
  • Green Beans & Rice (Cereal) Didn't Miss Ha': I visited the newest newdaddy and his wife in the hospital on Friday and, as I lifted their new son, I was amazed at how light he was; no, more accurately, I was more amazed at how much heavier Bud feels now than she did nine months ago.
  • Dear Parents and Guardians: Yesterday began the formal phase of newmommy and my house hunting efforts. It was a lot easier last time, all we needed was an easy commute to the city, a bedroom for newmommy and me, and the "office-ultimately- to-become-nursery." Now, we need to worry about school districts, busing, other kids in the neighborhood, etc. No longer is the nearest sushi bar a (top) priority. More on that in the days to come.
  • Six-in-a-row!: Yanks take 3 out of 4 from Chicago and sweep Pittsburgh. They still need to take 9 1/2 back from the Sox in order to stand above the AL East, but the team's definitely showing signs of life.
  • Sopranos Finale: Either I don't have an appreciation for fine theatrical arts, my cable went out at 10:03pm tonight, or that was the worst series finale ever.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Newdaddy Club Welcomes...

There must have been something in the water last September, because today we welcome our sixth addition to the Newdaddy Club in the last month: my college roommate! Finally, we welcome a boy to the Newbaby Club: man, will he have his selection of chicks!! (Yes, shame on me, I referred to my daugther as a "chick".)

Seriously, I would like to wish our newest Newdaddy (and his entire extended family, including the newmommy, newaunt, newuncles, newgrandparents, newgreat-grandparents) a big CONGRATULATIONS!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Buy Me Toys (and other Father's Day Ideas)

Father's Day is on the horizon. Don't know what to get dad? Here are some suggestions. (Note: this is not a hint to my family; just a bunch of good ideas that, if you know me well, you probably would have figured out on your own anyway).
  • Sporting event tickets. Wrap it up with a coupon "good for one free night/afternoon of babysitting." For Manhattanites, the ferry trip to a game is always a lot of fun.
  • Satellite Radio. I haven't been following the merger news, but I am a big fan of XM Radio. You get all the MLB games. Sirius is good for football fans. It'll be great after the merger to get it all!
  • Beer of the Month Club. There are tons of them, but I happen to like this one. Four three-packs each month: two domestic, two imports. This company also lets you mix it up with wine, chocolate, cheese or cigars. Newmommy and I got each other the beer/wine combo for Hanukkah last year. Its an unexpected party each month when the box arrives! (And only you are invited!)
  • Pictures for the Office. Homer Simpson covered that de-motivational plaque on his desk ("Don't Forget: You're Here Forever") with a picture of Maggie. It worked for him...and TV is always right!
  • (I considered using a bulletpoint for TiVo/DVR, but if you haven't gotten that by now, you probably already have a good reason.)
I'm still working on this list...any ideas?