Feelin' Genki

Monday, October 31, 2005

Wee-wee? Pee-pee Teepee! Whee!

Okay, sorry about that title. I just couldn't stop it midstream.

Once again, I am here to tell you of a strange and wonderful baby gadget I have found. Are you tired of your baby boy reacting to the temperature difference during diaper change time with his imitation of a cherubic fountain? Even if you just break out in laughter, as I am wont to do, sometimes it pays to have another option. And now we do.

Presenting the Pee-pee Teepee. A handy little cloth cover for that little guy's little guy. It's kind of shaped like a limpet, or one of those conical Chinese hats. Possibly like a nipple cover, or it might make a cool hat for a Barbie doll. Anyway, the one above is blue while ours is kind of a natural cotton with a fishing motif.

The first time we tried it, the thing worked great. We kind of put it on for a laugh - just in time! It kept the hazard contained and saved his outfit! Hooray! Milo, however, tends to wiggle a lot during change time. A lot. Man, that boy loves to be naked. Timing is everything and trying to cover a wiggling boy is a lot to ask but when he's more relaxed it works well.

We don't use them all the time, but if we're worried and he's feeling pretty zen then I'll still throw one on. Mostly because he looks so hilariously cute in it. Tee-hee!

** The Pee-pee Teepee is available online from lots of good baby stores, but ours were a gift purchased at Frances Hill's in the Gastown part of Vancouver. Tell them I sent you! They have tons of great stuff.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Don't Believe in Karma?

What comes around goes around. This story just about proves it.

Here's the short version: A woman in Oregon won the lottery! A million bucks, paid out over twenty years. Not bad huh?

Unfortunately for her, she bought the ticket with her dead mother-in-law's credit card. Now she's facing fraud and theft charges. If she's convicted, she won't get the money. And to top it all off, she apparently bought some crystal meth with her winnings (Ooh! Would that be the first thing you bought if you won the lottery? Me too!) and is facing drug charges as well.

All for winning the lottery. And using a stolen credit card. The wheel of karma turns...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Back to Normal

After the past couple days, "Whew" is what Milo should be saying.

Wow, we have been bad parents. No, we haven't scarred him for life or anything, but we have kinda messed up his routine for the past two days. At least, that's what I'm blaming for my current sleep deficit.

On Thursday we went to watch the hockey game at a friend's house (ugh - embarrassed by Colorado... such is the life of a Canucks fan) and thought Milo would be just fine. I guess that he was so distraught at the loss that he couldn't sleep for about two hours past his normal bedtime. Then he started waking up at night. I shouldn't complain - he's been so incredibly good at sleeping - but he was awake from about 2:30 to 3:30 that night.

Friday was Vegas night - we were off to a Casino night party for Erin's work and her parents were coming to town to graciously babysit for the evening. We were all up early to clean up, do laundry, and get ready. Milo then got spoiled all afternoon and Grammy got to give him a bath. He got fed and cuddled and put to bed as if he had been rehearsing being cute all his life.

We were off to the party and had a great time: we talked to Meg (Great blog! Awesome dancer! Fabulous boa!) and Dana (Dana Obleman - Infant Sleep Consultant and revered wise one) while quickly blowing our poker chips. Anyway, the food was delicious, the beer was Guinness (Score!) and the people who work there are fun to talk to and dance with.

As responsible parents, we figured that leaving Milo with grandparents for three hours was about all we should chance so we headed home. Milo woke up and got snuggled on the couch for about an hour before falling back asleep. While sleeping, Gramma got him to drink about five ounces of milk too - nice work! He was sleeping when we got home and stayed out until about quarter after three, when I got to try and lull him back to sleep. Alas, it was not to be. At about twenty after four Erin gave in and fed him.

At least we got to sleep in until almost 8am. I could use a bit more, but Milo is happy as a clam today. Grammy and Grampy stayed for breakfast and headed out, but coming back on November 2 so we can go to a concert. (Grandparents rock!) Milo is napping now, Erin is writing in her blogs (The Diaper Pail and I Love Cloth Diapers), and I am going to get some cleaning up done before I crash. And it's only Saturday.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Blackspot Sneakers

I got me some new shoes. Now some might say that I have enough shoes, but these I needed.

Brand new Blackspot sneakers.

As you can see, they're like the old Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, but I really appreciate the differences. When I started wearing Chucks (some time in the early 80's) they were a symbol of counterculture cool - punks and skaters wore them. The Ramones, and later Kurt Cobain and Green Day wore them. (That Nirvana show at The Commodore with Mudhoney was one of the best shows ever.) Then, in the mid-90's, Nike bought Converse. They shipped manufacturing overseas (can you say sweatshop?) and replaced the two-ply canvas with some kind of one-ply "textile." So now Chucks make money for Nike? Not from me.

Enter Adbusters magazine. Always looking for new ways to spread their subvertising in new ways, they decided to become shoe manufacturers and compete with Nike for cool. They win. All the information about the shoes and the factories make for fascinating reading, but suffice it to say that they are 100% organic hemp with biodegradable natural rubber soles and made in a safe, environmentally friendly union factory. Take that Nike! And they're designed by John Fluevog so they look and feel extra sweet.

As you might expect from a bunch of writers, philosophers, and graphic designers with no shoe experience (beyond wearing them), there have been a couple glitches with distribution of online orders (thanks again Sharon, for fixing everything superfast!), but there are more and more retailers everywhere. Motherland on Main Street, for example, and there's a place just a couple blocks away from me now too. Also, be warned that these are European made so the conversion to North American sizing may be a bit wobbly. I wear a Size 13, for example, which is usually a 47 in European sizes. My size 13 Blackspot, however, is a 46. If you're ordering online, I'd think about ordering a half-size bigger than you usually wear or try them out in a store if you can. Maybe if Dave and Donna read this they'll tell me how they fit since I'm sure they both have smaller feet than I do...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Seven and Seven Is

All right, I'll do this damned tag thing. I suppose I brought it on myself when I posted that personality test thingy. All right, but only one of these per month. I gots things to talk about on this blog that people might want to read.

7 things I want to do before I die

Get a job I love
Travel in Greece and Italy
Write a song I think is good
Own a cottage on an island
See a winter baseball game in the Dominican Republic or Cuba
Learn how to knit (my own wool socks)
Get really old

7 things I cannot do

Live in another basement suite or low-ceilinged apartment
The splits
Only watch half a movie
Wash laundry without shrinking something
Play a good video game without my mouth hanging open and slackjawed
Watch reality TV (other than Supernanny or the Fab Five)
Breastfeed our baby

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex

Sense of humour
Health and fitness
ok, I'll say it, butt and boobies.

7 things I say most often

"Yay Canucks!"
"Ooh! What a clever boy!
"Awoo! What a cute baby Milo!"
"Babe, where is/are my...?"
"What do you mean, up my ass?"
"Maybe it's up YOUR ass!"

7 celebrity crushes

Drew Barrymore
Susan Sarandon
Halle Berry
Luke Doucet
Selma Hayek
Liz Phair
Chan Marshall

7 people I want to do this(sorry if you did it already, just ignore me): (for those who don't blog, in my comments)
Pinksaturngrapes or Case
Cindy or Jan
Amor de Cosmos (Tim)
cooljerk (Jeff)
Laurie or Randy
Lisa R.

Monday, October 24, 2005

T for Tiberius

As we wander through the mysterious pathways of the internet we find things that amuse, shock, and amaze us. Some people forward that same joke to everyone in their address book, thus beginning the dreaded Fw:Re:Fw:Re: cycle. Others just babble about it on their blogs.

To wit, I read Wil Wheaton's blog and am a big fan. (At present his regular blog is on emergency protocols and he writes at WWdN in Exile.) Recently he talked about one of those "Which SciFi/Fantasy character are you?" personality tests available over at tk421.net. TK 421, as you are no doubt aware, is the designation of one of the stormtroopers who gets his uniform jacked by Han and Luke when they first arrive on the Death Star. I figured that knowing this piece of information qualified me to take the test so I did.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

An impassioned commander with more respect for individuals than for authority, you have a no-holds-barred approach to life and its obstacles.
I don't believe in the no-win scenario.

I suppose I should be flattered, but I personally prefer Picard. I went back and changed a few of my borderline answers and got... Wesley Crusher! Yay for us geeks! Then again, I suppose that trying to rig my own answers to produce a desired result was a little Kirk-like. Kobayashi Maru, anyone?

I also spent some time on Jonathan Coulton's site and learned to play along with him singing the poignant and heartfelt lyrics to Baby Got Back. Hey, you can buy his stuff at iTunes! How cool is that?

Continuing on my surfing, I found What Tian Has Learned - she learned about The Notorious MSG - three awesome rappers from New York's Chinatown and their stunning video, Straight Outta Canton. (Tian also has those two guys and their hilarious Backstreet Boys thing.)

Do we see a theme here? Yeah, they're funny but they do it so well. And the songs really seem like they have a deeper meaning. Anyway, the possibilities are endless. Here's a quick off-the-top-of-my-head list of songs in the same vein:

The Gourds - Gin & Juice
Travis - Hit Me Baby One More Time
Dread Zeppelin - Everything they've ever done
Hayseed Dixie - Ditto. In black.
Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies - listening to Rocketman right now

I could go on for days. Danny Michel did an album of David Bowie covers that rocks. Luther Wright & The Wrongs redid Pink Floyd's The Wall in its entirety. I think I'll go put it on now.

Speaking of babies, I hear mine. So much surfing, so little work done. End babble.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Canadian Baptism

I was a little worried about this one, but we were going to be prepared.

Milo's first hockey game.

So many things to worry about. What if he had a runny explosive poo? Got a diaper bag packed with wipes, blankets, change of clothes, and half a dozen diapers. (For a three hour game? Talk about paranoid...) What if it was too loud? Got baby earplugs and a toque to keep out noise. Plus blankets. What if he got squirmy? Got the Baby Trekker carrier ("The Octopus" as we call it - great carrier) and the slings (easier to sleep in, plus they keep out light). What if the crowd was too much? We had contingency plans that involved wandering around the deserted concourse during play.

First of all, I forgot the diaper bag and only noticed after we had driven downtown and parked. Oops. So much for preparedness. Good omen, I thought.

As it turned out, Milo was a dream. He watched quietly as we walked around GM Place then sat down in our seats. The loudest part of the night was the pregame sound and video stuff - designed to rev the crowd up by playing U2 and some TV spots. Milo was fine through the whole game and listened as we sang the anthem. When the game was on, Milo stared at the bright white rink and, I'm sure, was figuring out how best to beat the Coyotes defense. Or possibly rehearsing his own defensive positioning in his mind. Either way, he was intense.

He had a nice nap in the sling for most of the second period, after a snack. Our seats were right in front of the pub, which had nice comfy chairs and except for the tables with a view of the rink, was mostly deserted while the game was on. Some breastfeeding and a few chats with friendly servers, and they were back for the game.

The hardest part was the two of us trying to keep him shielded from the noise without blurting out our own cheers first. Anyway, the Vancouver Canucks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 (could easily have been 6-2) and we all went home happy. After all that stimulation, he woke up once at about 1:30am and screamed at me for trying to help. Luckily Mom took care of him and he slept for the rest of the night. Today he's been happy and giggling up a storm. I suppose he always does that after a win. Man are we lucky.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Staged Photo Central

We're back from a trip to Grammy and Grampy's house in the Wack. With all the bother of packing for Milo (he had more stuff than Mom, Dad, and the dog put together) it was still great to visit and eat wonderful food while giving Milo someone else to dote on him for three days.

Grammy and Grampy, of course, had to teach him to play pool.

And to play the piano.

So now I guess when he finds himself living in a bar, he'll have some valuable skills he can use to get by. Always thinking, those grandparents.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's All True

A few years ago, long before I was a parent, I vividly remember talking to my friend Tallulah one day and pointing out that she had some baby puke on her shoulder. She literally shrugged it off, telling me that there wasn't a single article of clothing she owned that hadn't been drooled, puked, spat, peed, shat, or otherwise dripped on.

Really? I wondered how this fashionable, talented performer could deal with the challenges of maintaining a professional TV/stage wardrobe with a baby around. I concluded that she must just be a slob.

Well, it's all true. Last night, while Milo and I were enjoying the hockey game (Canucks 4, Red wings 2. Hooray!) Milo had a long, loud, wet-sounding poo. His facial expression was hilarious - I guess he's not used to the sensation yet. The first period was just ending so I went to change him right away. Before we even got to the change table, however, I noticed that poo was dripping right out of him. Yikes! I immediately went into damage control and salvaged his shirt (my new fave) but that was about it. Everything else was covered. Cloth diaper, diaper cover, pants, socks, shoes, change pad, change table, and floor. And, of course, most of his body - hands, arms, and pretty much everything from the nipples down. When we got back to the bedroom, I noticed that two pillows, the bedsheet, and the comforter had all sustained some collateral damage too. Wow. Then I noticed my arm, shirt, and pants too. Holy crap. (And I mean that about the crap.)

And I thought the drool was bad. Or the meconium poo that he deposited in my chest hair in his first hour with us. Well, I guess that's my official baptism. Tallulah, by the way, is not a slob. Her daugher hasn't leaked on her in years, and in fact sings backup vocals on this new CD, which everyone should buy. It rocks.

** Luke Doucet's new CD, Broken (and other rogue states) is available at Six Shooter Records, from the iTunes Music store, or at your local record store.

*** Order from Amazon: Broken (And Other Rogue States)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Smart Float

Oh, it was a sad day for the gadget-lover inside me when we left Japan. Luckily, we still have connections.

Without our dear friends over there (Thanks again, you guys! The little outfits are awesome!), we might never have known about the "Smart Float" bath and pool float. Cool! It has a little seat like a baby swing and kind of acts like a jolly jumper in the tub or a kind of walker in the pool. Good for kids 65-85cm tall and between 13 and 30kg, it contributes to "Pokka-pokka no basu taimu" - splishy splashy bath time? (someone drop me a line if you have a better translation of pokka-pokka...)

As for the splishy splashy aspect, I'll keep you posted on how much water Milo manages to splash out of the tub. He's getting good at it already.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Hand

Yesterday Milo did something he's never done before and I'm so proud of him.

I was wandering around the house, pointing out things and chatting to him, just trying to keep him amused and stave off the fussy times for a few more minutes before his nap. He started to squawk (squawk, in parent terms, is that inarticulate noise that's almost, but not quite, a cry) and suddenly, as the clouds opened and the sunshine broke through, he calmly and apparently purposefully brought his hand to his mouth and shoved it in.

Amazing! Astounding! It made me weepy. Does it mean that the new soothers I bought (3-6 month size) are redundant? Does it mean he has kicked the dreaded binky habit? Is parenting going to be a snap from here on out because he can now soothe himself, thus making us parents obsolete? Are we setting him up for a lifetime of teeth and jaw problems by substituting one fix (soother) for another (thumb)?

All I know is that I've seen four and five year olds absolutely freak out when parents tried to take their soothers away and I don't want that to happen to Milo. Even so, the perils of thumbsucking for too long are real as well. Decisions, decisions. It's a fine line here and I suppose we'll just have to leave it up to Milo. It's in his hands. Or rather, it's in his hands, which happen to be shoved wrist-deep in his mouth...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Starbucks Challenge

Over at Green LA Girl's blog, she has asked us all to help her do some Starbucks research. Apparently this company will brew you a cup of Fair Trade coffee at any of its locations if you simply ask them.

Well, let's give it a try! Just go to your local Starbucks, ask for it, and pass the results (and store location) on to the list. If it's true, then hooray! Better coffee for all and even free publicity for Starbucks. If it's not true, then Green LA Girl will have some kick-ass ammunition for her next face-to-face with the corporate suits. Go Green Girl and go green, girl!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Full Suspension Off-Road Crib

Claming it "emulates a ride in a car" and has "independent suspension," the Lullabub unit consists of four crib leg holders that fit under your baby's bed and rock your child to bed as if you were in your SUV, cruising around and around your block for hours. Is that a good idea? I suppose if you're already doing it in your car, this could save you some gas money but as for its promise of:

•More Sleep for you & your family
•Happier Family
•Less arguments amongst couples
•Less stress, when trying to settle a crying baby ~Less depression
•Happier Hubby, to happier workplace, ~Happier children, in a way that they are not listening to their parents argue over who’s attending to the Baby in the middle of the night
•Overall, a Happier Baby & A Happier YOU!!!

Well, I'm not going to get it. Maybe it's the grammatical errors, or maybe it's the fact that I'm not stressed out and arguing with my wife, but even my love of nifty gadgets can't save this one. Too bad they don't make them big enough to work on a queen sized bed. Now THAT would rock my world - and not to sleep either, nudge nudge wink wink.

Harriet the Judge?

Harriet Miers? On the CBC national news this morning it reported that "Harriet Miers is a longtime advisor and ally to President Bush but has never sat as a judge."

Sounds like the same way he picked Brownie.