March 31, 2005

Gimme Some of That Photo Album

Recently in and around our home you may have seen the following things:


This bear has been spending some time in the freezer (he's white, like a polar bear, ya know), and he really looks like he likes it in there. He's a smooth operator.


We bought Marion some bunny ears, as well as a big stuffed bunny (who's name is now 'Bob') at Kroger on Easter Sunday. They were 33% off, so that's cool.


The cats really seem to be getting along, and they play a lot during the day, which is exactly what we were looking for. Hopefully this will use up some of the extra energy that Kira has, and she'll be less of a spoiled little monkey-cat.


And this was from yesterday! Marion and I went on a walk with a bunch of other babies from Mothering Arts, and we stopped at a park on the way. Marion had never been in a swing before, but she really enjoyed it.

March 30, 2005

Looking for Dads & Songwriters

I'm going to put a real effort into finding a group of full-time dads in the area. I've been talking about doing this for quite some time, and I've just never actually put any effort into it, so I haven't found anyone. I've really enjoyed the time that I've spent with the Mothering Arts Moms, but I think some time spent with other dads would be good for me.

I'd really like to find at least two other dads who might want to play basketball with me sometime. We could all go, and one could play with the babies/children while the others play, and then we'd switch off. It would be great to get the chance to get out and play some basketball, even better if it was with someone that I had some things in common with (like, perhaps, a near-total lack of basketball skill).

I've also started the process of trying another songwriter. I'm looking for someone that could work through a book that I found at the library that's filled with exersises for songwriters, or more specifically, lyric writers. I'd like to find someone that's at just about my skill level, and we could critique each other's lyrics, and help make each other better. I'm thinking that it would be better if it was someone that I didn't know personally (we'd exchange lyrics over email), because then there wouldn't be any worries about offending a good friend.

I sent a message out to a yahoo group that I'm in (not a songwriter's group), but no one answered. I'm gonna do some google searching today to see if I can track a potential candidate down.

Wow, wouldn't it be great if I found a songwriting full-time dad?! I hadn't thought of that. That would be crazy.

March 27, 2005

Hairball

Let's all take a ride in the way-back machine.

There was a time, not really that long ago, that I didn't have much hair on my head. I always cut it quite short, and tried to keep it really short so it would be easy to deal with, and so I wouldn't have to pay for haircuts. This worked out well for over seven years.

Recently there has been a shift in the Great Hair Continuum.

As a side note, if you look up 'Space Time Continuum'
on Google, you'll also see this ad:


My hair has been growing, and not being cut off, since around mid-January. Surely my long flowing locks would make up for any added difficulties in tending for my new hair, right?



Bother.

March 24, 2005

Thursday is for Adventures!

Marion must be excited about adventure day, because she woke up ready to go at 6:30 this morning instead of her normal 7:00. Not a big deal, but daddy sure would appreciate the extra 1/2 hour. It's impossible to be upset though, as she's too darn cute when she wakes up. She sits up and turns towards me, smiles, and starts talking to me. So cute.

Today's adventures include a trip to Mothering Arts to visit her friends, and to talk about parenting and such. Today's main topic is 'Raising a Healthy, Drug-Free Child', but we don't often make it in for the presentation, so we just get the tail end of the discussion, and then lunch afterwards.

And after lunch, who knows what we'll do. I've been hoping to go to the Ypsilanti district library lately, and we'll probably do that, as long as Marion's nap schedule works out. Although...she'll likely nap around 9:30 until 11:00, and then want to nap again at about 3:00, so that'll be just about the time lunch ends. Well, we'll see, she might be napping in the car ride over to the library.

And as a potty update (I swear, I'll try not to go all potty-crazy on those of you that don't have children, and therefore probably would rather that I'd shut up), Marion has slept overnight in a diaper, but other than that she's been diaper free (and she hasn't messed on the floor except once) since Tuesday morning at about 7am. How great is that?

March 22, 2005

Past One, and We're Dry

Yes my good friends, Marion has gone from 6am until now (1:03pm) without peeing or pooing anywhere but in the toilet. This is the best potty day ever. After eating, after naps, I just take her over to the potty, and like magic, she's a peeing fool.

How cool is that? This is an almost ten month old, and she's really starting to understand this whole potty thing.

Edit: It's 3:40, and we're still going strong!

As another update, we made it all the way through the day without usihng a diaper! Marion did pee on the floor once, at 6:40, but other than that it was perfect. I didn't even have a diaper on her most of the day yesterday, and it went so well that I'm planning on keeping the diaper off today. This is great!

Kitty Friend

Kira, our lovely little Korat kitten (well, I suppose she's a cat now, she's almost two), is in need of a playmate. She has this need because her human companions just can't give her the amount of attention that she needs. She's a high-need cat, and while we're happy to play with her quite often, it's become clear that she's not happy with the amount that we have to offer. We've read that cats of her breed can get this way, especially in one-cat households.

So, we did some research, and we found someone that we hope can be her friend. Nora (who was once called Jasmine, and then Cindy) has been living at a foster home for the past month or so, before that she was at a shelter, and before that she was on the streets. She was a homeless kitty, a vagabond, probably selling her body for another hit of catnip (okay, maybe not that last bit). Now, Nora has a home with us.



Now, because cats are tricky beasts, we're giving this a shot. The foster 'mommy' has let us have her for two weeks to decide if Kira and her can get along. Hopefully they'll let us know, but it'll be tough to decide in only two weeks. Right now Nora is still occupying the bathroom, as we're trying to get the cats to be 'okay' with each other's scents before we put them together in any real way. Nora doesn't appear to mind Kira's scent, but Kira (the protective little one she is) is doing some hissing still.

All in time, we'll see how this goes. Hopefully Kira and Nora can become good friends, and Kira can be a happier kitty more of the time.

March 21, 2005

Woo-Hoo

A roundup of the latest news headlines:

MAN BUYS EBAY ITEM FROM NEIGHBOR
I had my first eBay purchase from someone that I know. Weird. Ben bought a box of toner that I had up on eBay. I suppose, in the future, if any of you want anything that it appears that I'm selling (such as 128MB PC133 ram chips especially, I do have some more toner too), send me an email and we'll see if we can work out a deal.

YOUR HUMBLE HOST FINISHES AS #12 IN DIPLOMACY TOURNEY
The games have finally finished (we started this tournament in January of 2004), and after three rounds of action, I finished in twelth place out of a field of about 120. Even though I feel I could have done better, I'm still quite pleased with my final standing, especially since this is my first tounrament ever. I really hope that I'm able to get to a face-to-face tournament sometime. That would be a lot of fun.

-more to post, bother, baby crawling away...-

March 18, 2005

Fathering a Lovely Girl

Things are really pretty darn good recently. Marion and I were heading over to meet Keleigh after work with the intent of going out for some pizza, and once I saw Keleigh I started to cry. I have a wonderful wife, and a wonderful life, and it all hit me at the same time. I looked in the backseat, saw my daughter, and I was overcome with just how wonderful things are right now.

Marion is learning so much, and she's a great companion for each day. She's growing up, and soon she'll be walking around on her own, and talking to other children, and being more independant. It'll be soon. Too soon. I'm pretty attached to this stage of her development, it appears. I just can't imagine a time that she's too big for me to sweep her up into my arms.

I know that I'll have to accept the changes, as that's just the way it's going to be, and she needs me to accept it in order for us both to be as happy and as healthy as we can be. It just makes me cry right now though. I see other parent's toddlers, and I'm just amazed, amazed and a bit scared. Will she still need me like she needs me now? Will she love me like I love her, when she's three, when she's ten?

I know, "it's all going to be okay". I'm too involved in this right now to see the future, and I just love her so much right now that I can't possibly imagine that the future can even compare.

Friday, Already?!

Geez, I think it's pretty apparent that I don't have the time that I once did to update this weblog, and that's too bad. Now, have no fear, I'm not shutting down the entire thing, but I am going to have to come to accept that once-a-day just isn't going to happen. I'd love to post each day, but I can't always find time.

I'll be here every other day probably, with pictures, thoughts, songs, and more crazy ways for me to make money as a full-time dad (Hey buddy, want to buy some used ram for your computer?)

March 16, 2005

Overall Update (More Later)

Marion has pooed on the potty three days in a row! Seriously, why would you not do this? I mean, put the child on the toilet, they don't need to sit in their own waste.

My MIDI cable has arrived, which allows me to connect Ben's keyboard into the computer and make wonderful music. Well, it allows me to make some music. I can add drums and bass and such to my simple recordings a lot easier now. I really hope to have a song for you on Friday.

The Naughty Frogs practiced last night, and we had a pretty good time. It was decided that JP needs a new bass amp, really this time, not like all the other times that we've decided this. The plan is for him to buy one when he gets back from his summer selling his soul to the man, because then he'll have some cash.

March 14, 2005

Bad Idea

Playing a scary video game while your baby is in bed and your wife is away at yoga isn't the wisest of choices. You see, what happens is you get all spooked, and the phone rings, and you jump.

I'm playing Half-Life (the original, because I've never really played anything like it, so the low-tech-ness, compared to now, isn't really an issue for me). It's a first-person shooter where you run around and gun down these crazy beasty things. Sometimes you turn a corner, and there's another one...chomping on the body of a scientist. Fun stuff. Gee, why don't I play it in the dark.

Silly.

Marion's Upgrades

You know, upgrade, like when you add performance shocks to your car. Marion's upgrading her toilet abilities, and her teeth.

Four teeth (all the front upper teeth) are just about ready to pop through, with one of them already poking through the gums. It's been much easier for her this tim than for the first two teeth, there hasn't been nearly as much upset-ness on her part. I can't imagine how she's going to look with four more teeth. The first two increased her cuteness 3.14159 times, so I expect these will do as much, maybe more, for her.

And the toilet, oh yeah, I know you want to hear about this. We've been trying to catch Marion's signs of needing to go to the potty, and we've been quite successful. Just this morning she pooed in the potty, which means that I'm safe from wiping baby poo for a whole 24 hours. That, and I don't have to worry about washing the poo-diaper. This is awesome. I can't believe we didn't think to do this before.

March 11, 2005

Getting to Know You (Me)

My good friend Bob Fineman forwarded me this email, and while I'm not typically a fan of email forwards, this one has some good in it. I like communication, and I like to find out about my friends, so this is just another tool for doing that.

1. What is your favorite magazine? Consumer Reports

2. What is your favorite catalog? Um. I don't have one.

3. What is your favorite rerun? I'd say the Simpsons, although I don't really watch TV.

4. What is your favorite weeknight TV show? Lost, it sounds pretty good. I pay a bit of attention while Keleigh watches it.

5. Are you hooked on any reality TV? Not hooked, but I have seen (and enjoyed) a couple of this season's American Idol.

6. Is there any soap opera whose characters you try to keep up with?
Nope.

7. What is your favorite fingernail/toenail polish color? I used to enjoy some purple every now and then. It's been a while.

8. What is your favorite perfume? Obsession. Seriously, I can track people wearing this for miles.

9. What is your shoe size? 9 1/2, and I'm 6'3", my feet haven't grown since 8th grade.

10. When is your anniversary? July 13, 2001 (engraved inside my wedding band)

11. What dream job would you like to have for one day? I actually think I'm in my dream job (full-time dad), but if it had to be something else, I'd take Jeff Tweedy's job as singer/songwriter for Wilco.

12. What is your favorite website to visit? I spend a lot of time on eBay, and sitemeter.com (because I'm a geek).

13. Favorite car you have owned: 1993 Ford Probe GT, it's in the garage now, in need of some CV boots.

14. Banana split or Brownie Earthquake? I don't even know what a Brownie Earthquake is, but it sounds lovely.

15. Plain bank checks or patterned? I think mine are pretty plain, they're just the standard ones from the bank.

16. Favorite alcoholic beverage: I'm a non-drinker.

17. Favorite quote: "A lover and wife, gives you a new leash on life." Rolph, the pianist dog from the Muppets.

18. Are you a cat or dog person? Cat person, although I do like dogs a lot.

19. What is your favorite band? (I added this one, I think it's something that lists like this should ask) Right now, I'd have to say Wilco, although the Naughty Frogs are right up there.

There you have it, 19 things about me. Feel free to send me your list.

March 10, 2005

Much Better

Took a car ride (which is a much happier thing now that she can see out the windows), and went to Babys-R-Us to get a swimsuit (uber-cute), and now she's a happy little girl.

Yeah, that's what daddy's do during the day.

Some Days are Difficult

Geez, she's not been feelin' happy at all today. She didn't sleep well, and now she isn't napping well, so she's not happy. Time to try something else.

March 08, 2005

At the Mall

I was invited to the mall today. Weird. Actually, Marion and I were invited to the mall, to play with a couple of other little ones that we know. It's weird though, I mean...the mall? Is this a standard parenting thing that I haven't heard of, or is this actually strange. I mean, yeah, the mall has a child play-area, and it does have food sources, and bathrooms with changing tables, but it's the mall. I'm not really a mall-type-guy.

Yet, if Marion wakes up in time to catch some fun at the mall, we're gonna go. It's worth trying, right? She's napping right now (1 hour 42 min and counting), but I expect she'll be up in the next 20-40 minutes.

I suppose I should shave, as beast-men aren't often seen in public.

Did I Mention...

That the Honda Odyssey is the top rated minivan, as tested by Consumer Reports? You probably already figured that out, seeing as I base all of my purchases on CR.

March 07, 2005

Back to the Excitement

A bunch of crazy happened, and it kept me from getting near the computer very often, so I was away from OpenAppleDumb for a while. Things happen, people live, blogs don't get updated. Life goes on.

Tuesday and Wednesday was an adventure because Keleigh had a migraine. With only the Saturn to drive (and Keleigh had that at work) I had to work my phone magic to wrangle someone to pick her up from work. As it turned out her mom drove up from Toledo to get her.

I'm not a big fan of seeing Keleigh in pain, and migraines are especially scary because of the crazy things that they do to her mind. She gets all sorts of crazy things happening, like visual disturbances and such. I gotta say, I'm pretty happy that I don't get migraines, as they really do appear to be no fun at all.

Thursday was Mothering Arts (the parenting group that I attend when I get the chance, and yes...I'm typically the only guy at this 'Mothering' group). We picked up some cloth diapers from one of the moms, and Marion and I went out to lunch with the group. It's nice to be in a group of parents, but I still feel quite out of place. I mean, yeah, I have a baby, and yes, I'm a full-time parent, but these are all ladies, and I'm decidely not a lady.

We have Marion in cloth diapers now, and they're remarkably cute.



They're pretty easy to put on, and the washing isn't really that bad, so the little bit of extra effort is well worth the substantial savings over disposable. They're also not filled with chemicals (disposables are), and they don't take up huge amounts of landfill space. We've also picked up a bio-degradable detergent for them, so we're not putting more nasties in the water. Did I mention that they're really cute? She has a frog print diaper-cover on right now.

And Friday, we got ready to spend thousands of dollars.

You know that we've been working on purchasing a Chrysler Pacifica [old post]. Well, things have changed. The guy that we were planning on buying it from turned out to be just a tad too shady for us, and that broke the deal. We were already getting a bit fed up with him, so it didn't take too much more to finish us off. So, change of plans; we head over to the Honda dealer and test drive a 2005 Odyssey.

We like it, and all it's wonderful features (it has a freaking lazy susan in the floor!), and after we negotiate a price more than $2000 below sticker, making the payments within our price goal, we sign the papers and head out.



I'm sure I'll have more to say about this quite nifty automobile in the near future, but right now, I have to go drive it. Marion and I have things to do, and people to see, and now that we have a car to get moving in, it makes the world a better place.

March 06, 2005

I Exist

Sorry, things have been crazy. I will update you soon (Monday).

Exciting things to tell, and pictures too!

March 02, 2005

Cleaning Products & Devices

I'm a fan of things that go 'whirrrrrr', and one of those things is our vacuum. Yes, I'm writing about my our vacuum again. The thing is, I think about it often, not like every day often, but more often than a man should really be thinking about a vacuum.

We bought the Consumer Reports Best Buy vacuum, and really, that's why I think about it a lot. I have a subscription to Consumer Reports (an independant, non-profit, consumer goods review magazine), and I think it's the greatest thing ever. I want to buy everything based on their recommendations, because they really do let you know what works the best. For some things there's room left for aestetic preferences, but for things like vacuums, you gotta go with whatever works best.

My latest purchase wasn't actually the 'Best Buy', but it was the #1 rated product. It wasn't the best buy because it was more expensive, but I had a coupon, and it was on sale, so I think I got a pretty good deal on it anyway. And you gotta be excited about a good deal on dishwasher detergent. I'm such a geek.

The Cascade 2 in 1 Action Pacs (at 20 cents a load) really work. You should try them. I think you can get a coupon online at SmartSource. The 'Best Buy' stuff is cheaper, 9 or 13 cents a load. The Cascade really works, I put in a bunch of nasty dried-on-food plates, and put my dishwasher on the 'water miser' setting, and everything still came out very clean.

I'm such a geek.

Snowed In

Yesterday was a big snow, quite a big snow. We have about six inches on the ground, and drifts over two feet in front of our door, and in our driveway. I did shovel some yesterday, so it won't be too bad to finish it off, but I'm not exactly looking forward to it. I'm getting ready for spring now, as I'd really like the chance (the warmth) to get outside with Marion, and to get some time in the garage to work on the Probe.

I did start writing a song yesterday, but I wasn't able to finish it. I hope to get it finished either today or tomorrow. That being said, I'll have to alert you that I'm not sure the song-a-day thing is working out. It's actually having a detrimental effect on my ability to practice, and that certainly wasn't the goal. I'm thinking of changing to song-a-week. That'll still be a lot of songs, and I'll still be working on a new song just about all the time, but it'll give me the time to practice just playing the guitar, which I was missing out on.

So, Marion and I are ready to start a new day. I'm thinking of inviting Holly and Maya (a mom and baby combo, also home water-birth people) over today for some baby-together time, as long as I can get things cleaned up. I'd have to shovel too I suppose, as I wouldn't want them to have to trudge through the big drifts. We'll see if I get everything ready.

Anyone have a keyboard synth with midi that I could borrow? Ya know, just checkin'.

March 01, 2005

Grand Adventure

I never got the chance to sit down at a computer yesterday to get anything posted, and I never had the chance to write a song either, because Marion and I were adventuring downtown. It was snowing, but I had her under my coat with just her head popping out so she could see everything. We're a strange sight, I imagine, some crazy man walking down the sidewalk with a baby head popping out of his chest.

We visited people, as that's inexpensive, and tried to stay away from any stores that I knew I'd spend money at. We stopped by the CompLit office (where I used to work) and visited with Meggan. Marion had a good time crawling around the old workplace while I caught up on the latest news from the university-types. It's 'Spring Break' right now, so none of the students were around, which is too bad as I would have liked to have visited with some of them.

After that we stopped in at the library, where Marion loves to stare at the shelves. I hope she really likes to go to libraries, because once I get the Probe on the road again I want to take her to libraries often. I love them, and there's always something interesting to be found.

On our way back across campus we stopped in to visit Seanna, a professor in CompLit who is also a good friend of mine, and had a nice visit with her and her dog Pepsi. Marion and Pepsi got along great, and they were both quite interested in each other. Seanna's going to be leaving for Nebraska sometime this summer (I believe), so we have to get our visits in as much as we can before she heads out to corn-land.

With most of the visiting done we walked off into town, and stopped at a couple of stores in order to warm our faces. The Dawn Treader Bookstore had some free books out front, so we picked up some of them, and then went over to the Herb David Guitar Studio. I wasn't able to resist spending money on guitar stuff, but I kept it down to about $3.50. I bought a couple of guitar picks, and two back-issue guitar magazines.

Then, onward to Espresso Royale for some italian soda. Marion felt like queen of the world when I let her sit in the big comfy chair, and she let everyone know that she was pretty happy to be there with a couple squeals of joy. We bumped into Mickey (a retired midwife from New Moon Midwifery) while we were there, and had a nice short talk with her.

It was a big day, and both Marion and I were tired once we got home. I'd certainly like to do it again (maybe with a camera next time), but hopefully it'll get a bit warmer before our next big adventure.