Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bean Butt

It's no secret that Eames is a prodigious eater. Aspen remarked more than once than he eats more than she does. When I pick him up from the neighbors, Kathy basically tells me that he ate. A lot. For the whole 2-3 hours. And played a little.

He's also not picky. He'll eat just about anything I put in front of him--including all the crazy vegan eats that we're known to prepare around here. He likes raw onion, tofu and tempeh in any form, salsa, kale, curries, and every variety of bean known to man.

In fact, Kathy was kind enough to give me her recipe for Cuban Black Beans and we've been making a big batch about once a week. Eames likes them so much that he gets a purple bean stain on his butt.

But, what can I say? Refried beans stick to the spoon well enough that they're the perfect food for Eames to practice feeding himself with. Bean butt, be damned.

video
P.S. This is not a video of Eames's butt.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Eames Witch Project

Warning: May Cause Motion Sickness.

video

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Highlight Reel: July Edition

Like most blogs, I generally only share the particularly funny or noteworthy things that happen around here--and I definitely only post pictures that I feel are decent. But, I thought it was time to let you in on some of the day to day operations. The stuff that gets edited out. Here, you'll find some of the updates I send Josh, so he know what monkey business Eames is up to. And you'll find some pictures that didn't make the cut. I think both tell their own story.

All of the following are excerpted from chat conversation had during July 2010. Some may not be safe for work:

07/06/10 @ 9:36am--I just caught Eames standing on top of the console. He used the chair to climb up, stood on top, and proceeded to shuffle through records. I was making pancakes and only realized he was up there when I heard records fall.
07/08/10 @ 1:38pm--I put the pillows in the cases and Eames LOVES them. Which, of course, means that he's rubbing the white pillows all over the floor as he pushes them around and lies on them.
Eames doing the earthquake drill at a SLC hotel.

07/09/10 @ 8:59am--Nico just attached himself to Eames's face.
07/09/10 @ 2:50pm--By the way, your son has figured out that he can climb up the high chair by grabbing the seat and stepping up on the platform.
07/13/10 @ 11:43am--Your son just face planted in the driveway. Scraped forehead and a mouth full of dirt.
With sunscreen in his hair and a scab on his nose.

07/20/10 @ 9:20am--Eames just fell off the arm of the couch and landed butt first in his toy box. He's fine. But it was just like a cartoon arms and legs sticking out hte top of the box.
07/20/10 @ 9:41am--So I just heard a squeal from Eames and I look over and he's standing in his toy box but he's bent over and his head is caught under the rim so his butt is just sticking out and he can't stand up.
Destroying flowers in Louisville.

07/21/10 @ 11:08am--You know how Aspen left her suticase and stuff in the living room? Eames is having a good time going through it.He just found her toothbrush and is combing his hair and Simi with it.
Doing God-Only-Knows-What to Simi.

07/22/10 @ 12:42--Eames keeps trying to bite me.

07/26/10 @ 9:36am--Eames just tore apart every record in the basement. He's on a rampage.

07/27/10 @ 11:51am--I'm teaching Eames how to eat a sandwich. He doesn't quite get it.
07/27/10 @ 12:06pm--There's a character named Eames in Inception. Weird.
07/27/10 @ 1:37pm--Eames just filled Polly's bowl with the hose, then got down on his hands and knees and tried to drink out of it.
We've wasted a lot of water this summer.

07/29/10 @ 3:53pm--Eames is a bit grouchy today and I think I'd rather drive with him than sit here and listen to him bitch.
He does not think I'm funny.

07/30/10 @ 11:08am--Your son is a menace. He's standing on the plastic box you left next to the couch, swinging a broom around his head.
07/30/10 @ 12:41pm--Eames just climbed up his high chair. Again. He high stepped on to the second black bar and pulled himself up.
07/30/10 @ 12:43pm--And now he's pulling on his penis, so...double yes.
07/30/10 @ 12:44pm--Also, polly ate his poop.
07/30/10 @ 12:46pm--Now, he's waving at every bus that goes by--and some of the cars. I'm sure all the people driving by like getting waved at by a naked baby tugging on his penis.
A little poke and giggle.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Excerpts from the Summer of Aspen

Well, after what seemed like a short visit, Aspen headed back home to California this past Friday. It seems like we hardly saw her, since she was in volleyball camp for half the visit and asleep for the other half (Remember how tiring being a teen was? Apparently, it still is.), but we still got a good dose of teen-ness when we did see her.
________________
Me: Aspen, did you have breakfast?
A: I had some grapes.
Me: You aren't eating lunch until 12. You need to eat something before you workout.
A: ...
Me: Also, you need to stop being passive aggressive.
A: What's passive aggressive?
Me:....
Me: Will you eat pancakes if I make them?
A: Yes.
Me: Of course. Yay tan food!
______________________
Aspen comes home from the overnight weekend camp and leaves her suitcase on the floor of the livingroom. Eames has a great time going through her stuff. He finds her toothbrush and proceeds to brush not only his hair with it but also Simi's.
_____________________
Me (talking on the phone): Hey Kathy. Can you do me a favor and peek out your window to make sure Aspen isn't letting Eames run into traffic?
Kathy (sounding surprised): Oh, I have him.
Me (sounding more surprised): You do?
Kathy: Yeah. Aspen brought to me about 3:30 and said, "Can you watch him? We can't get cooking done. I thought she was going over there.
Me: Huh. She volunteered to watch him at about 3:10. I thought she was outside playing in Jenai's yard. Would've been nice if she's told me...

Me (5:30, in the kitchen): Aspen, you know how when your plans change and you go somewhere else and you have to call and let us know that you'll be in a different place?
Aspen: Yeah.
Me: Well, the same thing applies to when the 15 month old's plans change and he's not where you said he'd be.
Aspen: Oh.
________________________________
Aspen: There's nothing normal about me.
Josh: Name one thing about you that isn't normal.
Aspen: I have flat feet and I pronate.
Me: Most people pronate. But, Nike convinced us it's not natural and now they're rich.
Aspen: Well, I have flat feet anyway.
____________________
Colorado already misses her.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Eames On His Chariot

video

...if only he could actually lasso Nico.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eames Tries to Lasso a Cat

Please ignore the destruction. I'm in the middle of rearranging...

And I have a one year old.

And he distracts me with these kind of antics when I should be cleaning.

video

Friday, June 11, 2010

Loss

Yesterday, I went to my first prenatal doctor's appointment.

After an hour spent going over my previous pregnancy and mapping out this one, the nurse wheeled in the ultrasound machine.

Neither she nor the doctor could find a heartbeat.

They call it a missed miscarriage. Apparently, the fetus stopped developing a week or so ago, yet my body hasn't quite figured it out. All those plans are suddenly gone. Instead, I have 3 options: 1) wait for my body to catch up, which it hopefully will in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, 2) use medicine to make my body expel the fetus, or 3) surgically remove it. All these options seem less than stellar.

So, in the meantime, I'm waiting a couple of days to see how things go. It's kind of surreal to still be pregnant, feel pregnant, and yet...not be. That is, I think, the worst part. Realistically, though, the physical part is probably the easiest. The fetus wasn't healthy and nature has taken its course.

Emotionally, it's difficult. I bought "Big Brother" pajamas for Eames on Monday. They're sitting on the table still, because I haven't found time in the midst of summer session to wash them and put them away. Luckily, we could choose to have another baby when Eames is 5 and they'd probably still fit him--slow grower that he is. Last week, I moved the list of baby names we came up with last time around to my laptop, so I could start thinking about names for this one. And, of course, I'd already started making room mentally and emotionally for another baby.

Because it is exciting, this family building. More so than I ever would have imagined. Unlike my career, which I have continual doubts about, I feel like I'm good at this. That it really matters.

So, this is a blow in some respects. But, despite the fact that it sounds cliche, I really, truly believe that everything works out for the best. My life is proof of that. I had already started rearranging our life to fit in a new little person, and this changes things. Suddenly, opportunities that I'd written off for the near-future are feasible. Our life looks different than it did a two days ago--for better and worse.

Undoubtedly, this is sad. And I cried my fair share of tears last night, leaving my eyes swollen and head aching this morning. But, we will heal. I will heal. And, as I was reminded this morning, we have been incredibly lucky. Josh and I found eachother. I never imagined I'd love someone as much as I do him. Aspen is turning into a beautiful woman. My parents are halthy and happy and in love--still--though they are all too far away. And Eames. After a sorrowful night, Eames reminded me this morning that life is so, so good by tangling himself up in curtains and headbutting me and the cats, and walking around with a cotton swab hanging off his lip like a cigarette. His sense of humor is growing each day and that makes me happy. Really happy.

So, for now, we remain three.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eames's Drinking Problem

Eames has a drinking problem.

And it goes a little something like this: For his 12 month check up, Eames weighed in at about 18 1/2 pounds, which puts him in the fourth percentile. His height was slightly better at the 17th percentile (and let's not talk about that Luedtke head which is solidly in the 68th--basically, he's lollipop shaped). The doctor assumed that his increased activity and my (probably) decreased milk supply is mostly to blame, so she suggested making sure he gets about 16 (I think) ounces of soy milk a day to make up for the nutrients and vitamins he's no longer getting from me. This suggestion makes sense. Most kids switch to regular milk at this time and soy milk is the highest protein/fat/calorie vegan option out there.

But, Eames doesn't like soy milk. And, it's not just soy milk. Eames won't drink anything but water (and Keflex, which he begged for when he had to take it...mmmmm, tropical-flavored anitbiotics).

Let me provide a little perspective: Eames is an eating machine. He eats all day and he'll eat just about anything you give him. He's enjoyed my tofu egg salad which features a healthy amount of raw onions, tarragon, and chives. He likes a good curry and was particularly happy to polish off the coconut black-eyed pea curry I made last week. He likes black beans and soyrizo and salsa. I could go on. Vegans, at least these ones, eat an amazing variety of food that most adults look askance at and Eames is happy to eat them all.
Exhibit A: Tempeh bacon, rice cheese, and avocado on rye (deconstructed)

The only thing he is picky about is liquid. He doesn't like juice. Apple, orange, and carrot have all gotten spit out. And I even made them fresh. Juiced just seconds prior. He made this face:
Exhibit B: Dark Cherry Passion Tea Lemonade

Vanilla soy milk ended up on the front of his shirt, as did the chocolate variety. And I think the chocolate is still there. As you can see, tea gets a negative reaction too--and it tastes exactly like Kool-Aid. Up to this point, it's been breastmilk and water all the way. And, seriously, I'm not complaining. I know many parents struggle to get kids to drink water and a lot of adults have trouble with it too (looking at you, Amy).

While we were in California, however, we had a breakthrough. We went to an organic deli run by a Christian cult. They happened to have banana milk on the menu, so I order one made with soy thinking it was worth a shot. Lo and behold, he drank it as well as he could considering that the straw was about an inch wide. Of course, he then proceeded to pull the straw out of the cup, spilling banana soy milk across the table, and waving the straw rapidly back and forth which sprayed banana soy milk all over the table and most of us sitting at it. When I tried to clean up the mess, he grabbed the paper from beneath my sandwich and waved it about, until I grabbed it and moved on to the salt and pepper, sprinkling it liberally across the table. But, that's really another blog...

Anyway, I made him some banana soy milk at home this morning. And. He. Liked. It. I blended on large banana, one cup of soy milk, and a quarter cup of coconut kefir together and served it to him in his tupperware juicebox. He drank about 12 ounces of the stuff over the course of the day. On top of that, I ordered a small unsweetened iced green tea from Starbucks and he drank the whole thing (don't even give me guff about Starbucks...I've struggled to be ok with patronizing the place, but the reality is that it reminds me of home and I like that).
Victory: Eames not only drinks it, he HUGS it.

Yes, Eames is officially on the wagon--the banana soymilk bandwagon. I doubt I'll be able to get him to drink however many ounces the doctor suggested, but knowing that he's drinking fortified soymilk makes me feel a little less guilty about the fact that I often forget to give him his vitamins.

I also suspect that this will not cause him to suddenly grow into a regular-sized toddler--you know, one who isn't still rocking 6 month old's clothes. But, that's ok, because he's out-running and -climbing toddlers twice his size.

And good things come in small packages.

Friday, May 21, 2010

California: Leaving On an Aeroplane

Waiting to Board

California

The Last Resort: Playing with the Camera

Getting Sleepy (on the descent)


Friday, May 14, 2010

Goldilocks?

When Eames was born, he had orange kinky hair; eventually, it fell out and the strawberry slowly leached out of it. Now, it's about as blonde as can be.
But, I've been watching to see if he gets stuck with my thin, lifeless, utterly, irrevocably straightest of straight hair or if he gets Josh's curls. Today, he's definitely looking curly. Of course, this particular hairstyle is largely due to the combination of sweaty nap hair and tangerine juice from the plate that he was rubbing all over his head. When we walked over to the neighbors today, Will said to Eames, "You look like your dad with your hair all crazy like that."
You know what would happen if I combined sweat, tangerine juice, and my hair? Nothing.

I see hope for him yet.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One Year


While it is Eames's birthday, this post is going to be more about me than him (which is probably something he should get used to).

Birthdays, like the new year, seem to provoke some reflection in me. I've been thinking lately about this past year. Some thoughts are well-trodden: I wonder again and again how the year went by so quickly and I get a little sad that Eames is no longer a baby but a toddler with a will of his own. In fact, the only baby-ish thing about him are those adorably chubby cheeks and even those are slowly fading away. Sure, it seems silly to mourn the infancy of a one year old, but this has been a year of surprises and revelations for me and his infancy has been the source of that.

In short, I have surprised myself. I've never exactly been the maternal type and I feel like I missed out on most of Aspen's childhood; indeed, she more closely resembles a woman than a child--and a beautiful one, at that--and I can't fathom where that time went. But, with Eames, I find myself thinking on occasion that I've actually turned out to be a decent mom. Actually, I would even say that I'm a good mom. Despite a hundred million other things I should be doing (actually, there's only one other thing I should be doing but I dare not speak its name), I have devoted myself to spending time with him and not thinking about or doing anything else. I stopped checking my email incessantly, refreshing Facebook, and reading every blog under the sun; I still keep up, but I do it, for the most part, when Eames is asleep. I stopped worrying about all the things that need to be done around the house. I stopped beating myself up for not writing. I workout or go for runs when I can, and I don't worry about it when I don't. When his first year check-up revealed that he's just a wee slip of a boy (4th percentile for weight and 17th for height), I knew that he as healthy and that I've been doing everything I possibly can to ensure that he grown healthy and happy--both of which, he undoubtedly is.

In essence, I've learned to live in the moment with Eames. I've learned to enjoy him. I've learned not to be distracted, because I'll never get these moments back. When I'm with him, I'm really with him. And, when I'm feeling a little stressed or a little distracted, Eames guides me back, with little cairns that he stacks randomly around the house. Towers of blocks, balls, plastic lids, and shoes that bring me back to these moments. To him.

Aspen helped me grow up and set goals and start to plan for the future--she led me to this place, this time--and she reminds me that it goes too fast.

Eames reminds me to be still. To revel in the small things everyday. To see the joy in the stacking of cups and the herding of cats and the spinning of a record player.

video

Happy Birthday, Eames!

Friday, April 16, 2010

a-ha

(This post has nothing to do with awesome Swedish music videos with helmet-wearing, wrench-wielding bad guys. Sorry.)

As most of you know, I've been struggling with my writing process for the last...well, year or two. Whereas, I was once two years ahead of schedule in the program, I am now behind. I'm not sure I've ever felt like such a failure in my whole life.

How did it happen? Well, I have to admit that the dissertation process has been a bit of a blur but I think it goes a little something like this: 1) propose an obvious comfortable topic that seems easy enough to write about; 2) begin to suspect that writing about reality TV from a cultural studies perspective isn't the smartest idea you've ever had; 3) write the history of reality TV and its connection to liveness thinking it'll be useful no matter what; 4) declare cultural studies is dead (about a decade late); 5) climb on the bandwagon and succumb to the sexiness of new media; 6) admit that you know nothing about new media except that myspace is still better than facebook even if no one uses it anymore; 7)write an introductory chapter connecting reality TV and new media; 8) realize that you still don't know why it matters that they're connected; 9) work on connecting them but become convinced that non of it fucking matters; 10) think that maybe Phd's are overrated and suspect that you are, indeed, incapable of writing a dissertation; 11) read a short, provocative article that changes your entire way of thinking; 11) write chair in an elated frenzy, convinced that you may be able to do this after all; 12) to which she says, "Yes! Do it! (translation: please write something!); and 13) finally, get most of a preliminary outline done to send out to committee so they see that I've done something and will continue to do so and hope they don't kick me out.

That has, in essence, been the trajectory of this dissertation process up to this point. Now, I'm starting on chapter 1 all over again, so I can send out a draft of it by the end of this month--with the goal of getting 3 chapter done in the next 4 months. It's the only way I'll make it to the job market this year.

And, while the timeline and the very task of writing a dissertation are extremely daunting, this is the first time during this whole debacle that I've actually felt good. I'm excited about the new angle and I have some clarity--I visualize what a completed dissertation would look like. And it looks fun. Something I can't ever remember talking about with other academics.

Basically, I've decided to take game studies focus on play and apply it to reality TV. Reality TV does two things really well: 1) it gets people to ask themselves what they would do in that situation, and 2) it is fun. When you combine these two things, it seems obvious to me that the genre effectively gets people to play along through a variety of rhetorical strategies and supplementary texts. And, if we can play with a traditional text like a TV show, what are the repurcussions for other texts? Texts in the classroom? Student writing?

Anyway, that's where I'm at now. We'll see where it leads and how it plays out.

Hopefully, it leads to about 200 pages...*fingers crossed*

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Say Yes to the Dress

Mommy was awake with baby from 2:30-4:30. AM.
Mommy was tired.
Baby was teething.
Mommy was having a bad day.

Mommy had to go through baby stuff for the consignment sale this weekend.
Mommy already has boxes of clothes that no longer fit baby.
Mommy also has a box of clothes for Juniper, the imaginary baby.


Mommy's day suddenly got better.
Baby, on the other hand, has had better days.

"You better not post these pictures!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winter Olympics 2030: The Training Years

While you may think that this video is noteworthy for the walking that takes place toward the end, you'd be wrong.

video

Admittedly, I was pulling for curling as his future sport of choice, but all it takes is one look at those squats and that aerodynamic position to see that bobsledding--or maybe luge--is more up his (icy) alley.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

10 Months!?!?

Eames turned 10 months old this past Monday and, like the other month-birthdays, I'm struck silent by how fast it has gone. This time, however, I promised myself that I'd actually try to write something.
Enjoying the California sun and Ikea toys.

Since I last posted, Eames has become mobile. He's not walking completely quite yet, but he's cruising with ease, taking a few steps to cross short divides, and started crawling in the last week or two as well. Actually, crawling might be a bit strong. Like the steps he takes to get from object to object when he runs out of wall, he uses a scooching method to achieve the same result. He's not using crawling as a full-fledged way to get around yet and he seems far more interested in mastering this whole walking thing than exploring the world of crawling.

Ok. I lied.

video


Since I began drafting this post (5-6 days ago), Eames has decided that crawling is a viable form of transportation. He spent the better part of the day chasing his (new) ball around the main floor and hollering at the top of his lungs. Watching this video, Josh told me that sometimes he thinks that Eames really has things figured out; then, he proceeded to point out that Eames is basically playing catch with himself and always waits for the ball to come to a complete stop before he goes after it, thus ensuring the shortest distance between two points. Does MIT have a waiting list? For 2027? Egad.

In the past two days, he's also taken to walking to some corner--like where the stairs and wall meet--letting go and walking. He generally makes it anywhere between 5 and 12 steps. Except when he doesn't. Like this morning when he pitched forward and kissed the flooring with his (new, really new, just emerged) front teeth. There was blood. There were tears. Then he was back at it. Only he apparently decided that his left foot was to blame and started taking taking steps with his right foot only, leaving the left firmly planted. This resulted in him turning a very neat circle, beginning near the corner of the wall and ending in damn near the same place. Like just about anything else he does, this elicits a fair amount of bellowing and grunts and laughs that sound remarkably like Barney--after puberty.

But, what everyone seems to be most interested in for some reason, is Eames's sleeping habits. The short answer is that he's still not sleeping through the night. He had gotten to the point where he was waking up around the time I go to bed and again around 2-3:00. This, I could live with. But, sometime before our trip to California, Eames began waking up every hour or hour and a half. What changed?

He learned how to stand up in his crib.

Now, whenever I stumble into his room in the middle of the night, he's standing in the corner closest to the door, directing his rumblings right toward my bed. Except when he's not. Like when I stumble in, following strange grinding sounds only to find Eames gnawing on the side of his (very modern, somewhat pricey) crib. Which now has teeth-like scrape marks on the side panel. So far, I haven't found any splinters in his gums, but with 3 top teeth coming in right now, it's not exactly easy to tell.

Luckily, I have a brilliant neighbor who suggested that he wasn't just really embracing his role as a momma's boy. She pointed out that he may be able to get up, but probably hasn't figured out how to get back down. I quickly dismissed this possibility, pointing out that he often squats and sits during the day. And then it dawned on me: what he doesn't do, however, is lie down. Unless he falls. Yes, Eames is like one of those proverbial cats who climbs a tree but needs a hunky fireman to get him down. Only in this case, the hunky fireman is me (sans mustache).

But, the truth is, even the interrupted sleep doesn't bother me. I'm not getting a ton of sleep. I'm not getting any writing done. I can't keep the house clean. Running is more often a plan than an actuality. And my very cool haircut never looks like it should. But, I commit myself to every moment, enjoying this time before another 10 months--or 10 years--goes by. Aspen reminds me everyday that it goes too quickly.

Happy 10 months, Eames.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sick Mac. Sick Eames.

Well, it seems like we've been inundated with sickness the past few days, even though Josh and I have both remained healthy. Both Eames and my computer got sick. At exactly the same time. Exactly.

My Mac laptop, which is about two years and a half years old now, decided that it was suddenly too tired to get passed the start up screen. It was just done tuckered out. And the Apple store confirmed it when I finally made it over there to beg them to do something to help. Indeed, my hard drive crashed and they were unable to retrieve any of the data on it. This had the potential to be bad (like 'Holy shit, I'm pregnant..' bad--without the cute baby at the end). Luckily, I haven't been that productive as of late, so I only lost a couple of paragraphs of dissertation work. I backed up my computer 3 months ago and have posted all my best pictures on Picasa or the blog. So, it could've been much, much worse. Turns out Apple is replacing the hard drive on this model for free (along with the case which had a small chip), so I got a new hard drive with a new operating system and the very valuable program Time Machine all for a low, low price of some random pictures, videos, and files. And the awesomeness of Time Machine will keep this from happening again. Lovely.

In the meantime, Eames was running a wicked temp, threw up on me, slept away 3 straight days, and clung to me enough to make me think kangaroos are really on to something with that whole pouch thing. It really was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. But, today--the day I picked up my like-new laptop--he woke up without a fever and smiling. He was even up for a game of peek-a-boo.
video
It's nice to have everyone back to normal...though, I guess that means I'm out of excuses and need to get back to the writing. Or started on the writing. Ahem.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Holidays In Pictures

In November, I'd planned on writing an ode to six months. But, then we took a long road trip to Arizona, California and Utah (with a quick trip through Vegas for vegan donuts), the semester and all its ensuing madness came to an end, the holidays and Aspen's visit arrived, and I'm just now wondering where the last two months have gone since Eames recently turned 8 months...

Fact is, he's like a different kid. And by kid, I mean he's hardly a baby any more. He 's not crawling yet, but he puched himself backward around the floor. Honestly, though, he's much more interested in walking and wants to stand and move from place to place on his own two feet. He's eating food, real food, though this still hasn't given me a break from feedings and hasn't helped him sleep through the night. So far, he's had kale, sweet potatoes, tofu, lentils, oatmeal, spinach, pumpkin, coconut milk, coconut milk yogurt, banana, avocado, peas, and beets (and perhaps a few other veggies--I'm beginning to lose track).

Anyway, there's so much to catch up on that I'm not even going to try. I'll let the pictures do the talking instead:
Dressed for the winter
Enjoying the Tucson sun
Eames likes his Vans
My other baby
Aspen, Josh, and Eames in the Glenwood Hot Springs
Eames giving me the hard sell