Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's hard to find good help these days

With daycare closed this week, I've been working from home. This morning I got a little help.

Of course, as soon as this picture was taken, the little slacker disappeared and I haven't seen him since.

Probably out back on another "juice break". This is not going to look good on his annual review. I'm going to have to put him on a Performance Improvement Plan.


Today's post brought to you by the Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro. If you're worried that you haven't spent enough money on your laptop, it's time for an Apple!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Subliminal high-chairs

After reviewing the finances last night, I've decided that the only way that we're going to be able to afford to send Finn to Ninja College is to start selling ads on the blog. We're going to start all subtle-like, though, with product placement deals.

Behold, the Svan High-Chair! It's really expensive1, but see how well it keeps the cats out of harm's way?

Tango has apparently not yet gotten the memo that he has been designated Finn's new BFF. He should just be happy that he didn't draw Paris Hilton. She doesn't have the best track record with pets.

Speaking of Paris, the trash was picked up today for the first time in three weeks. I pity those garbage men. Three weeks of diapers and cat litter can not make for a good Monday.


Don't worry, dad, it was a gift.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy 9 Month Birthday Finnja!

Congrats to the Finnja on making it 9 months on the "outside", almost as long as his lazy butt was on the "inside". For you observant folks I'm sure you couldn't help but notice that he is standing on a tower of 9 cups. The kid is SMART!

Daddy almost broke his two fingers trying to keep the tower in place for the picture. Daddy is WEAK!

Okay I can't stop at one picture. The only time he appears to bear any resemblance to his Mommy is when he has "crazy eyes". Coincidence?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but Seattle has been effectively shut down by snow since last Wednesday. The crappy roads have kept-away the magic unicorns that come by to pick up my typewritten blog posts for distribution on the intertubes. I need to get those unicorns some better tires.

So without further ado, allow me to recap all of the excitement that's gone down in Ninjatown over the past week:

1. It snowed again (and Finn appeared to enjoy it this time):

Seattle public schools shut down under "threat" of snow last Wednesday, but it didn't start until Thursday with the real storm showing up on Saturday, canceling schools, flights & daycare and piling about a foot at our house. The exceptional part is that it's all still here a week later.

This is the road next to our house, taken about 4 hours ago, which is nine days after the start of Snowpocalypse. Since it's been raining, asphalt finally appeared on this road this morning. There are still people outside driving with chains on their cars. They're idiots, but they're still out there.

Seattle apparently decided to adopt a "Snowpack by Design" explanation as to why the roads remain unplowed and unsalted days/weeks later. This is the political equivalent of "I meant to do that" from elementary school. It's not much of a comfort to those of us that are stuck at home - indoors - for days at a time, living in piles of uncollected garbage and actually having to take care of our children.
This is why God invented booze.

2. Finn stood unassisted for a five-count:

The Ninja has definitely turned his attention away from assisted walking. He has no interest in holding our hands as we walk him around; all he wants to do is cruise around the furniture on his own. In the process of cruising the other day, he let go of the thing he was holding onto and stood totally still for a (admittedly very quick) five-count. Since this was in the middle of Snowmaggedon, Kitty and I were both lucky enough to be around to see it.

To celebrate, we promptly drank another bottle of wine.

3. Oh yeah, it was Christmas:

With all of the excitement about the snow and the standing, it would be easy to lose sight of the real meaning of the season. That's right. Gift wrap!

Finn is obviously too small to appreciate all of the crappy gifts that we have planned for him, but we figured that he could at least enjoy opening some presents. We even wrapped up some wine, although given the events noted above, not as much made it to Christmas Day as originally intended.

It turns out his interest in wrapping paper begins and ends with how it tastes. Even when prompted with a starter tear, he lost interest quickly and went back to enjoying the spirit of the holiday with his mouth.

No matter, we still had a lovely day. This was our first Christmas ever on the west coast, which would have been lonely had it not been for the presence of Aunt Nicole and Uncle Keith, as well as the surprise continued presence of Aunt Holly and Uncle Rob. Apparently the snow-pack design doesn't work all that well at the airport.

Even though we didn't get to spend the holidays with many of you out there in Ninjaland, you were still in our thoughts and we hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season.

Now if you'll excuse me, there's some more wine under the tree that needs attention.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Separated at birth?

I present the cheetah lady of the north side of Chicago and the cheetah baby of the west side of Seattle. You can't even tell them apart, can you?

If you've got the time, I strongly recommend watching the cheetah lady's video. I think you will all relate. Who doesn't want to get out of the jungle, live in a condo and eat tacos? Word up, cheetah lady!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bathtub Finn

Thoughts on Bath Time
by Finn David Parker

1. I'm too hyper for a real big boy bath so I'm still in the kitchen sink.
2. I don't even care that I'm wet and in a freezing house (it was snowing outside and our house is not insulated for cold weather being built in 1909 and in Seattle where it rarely gets cold or hot)!
3. My Mom just poured a cup full of water over my head, spilling it and soap in my eyes and I don't give a lick.
4. My eye lashes are to die for!
5. I just splashed all the water out of my bath and onto the floor and now I'm wondering...hmm what's next for Professor Chaos?
6. I'm NAKED!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catchin' up with the cats

Do you remember what it was like before you knew how to drink from a cup? I've spent late nights with enough of you to know that this is a skill that is still lacking in many adults. Myself included. But for the most part, during the day, I'm sure you have a handle on it.

Finn is now figuring it out too, albeit with a sippy cup. I was actually stunned that this wasn't knowledge that came built into the baby operating system. I knew that I would have to teach him how pee in the toilet, how to tie his shoes, how to find Shakedown Street in a Phish/Neil Diamond parking lot, and how to look busy at work without really doing anything, but I didn't think I'd have to teach him such basic stuff as eating & drinking. This kid was not prepared for anything. He's lucky that we're (relatively) proficient at these things!

He's still not great at drinking, since it requires that he suck. And if there's one thing our kid is terrible at, it's sucking1. He is managing to get some liquid down and this, coupled with his newfound ability to hold his own bottle, is finally allowing him to close the gap in the great Brain-off!TM that he's got going against the cats.

Let's review the scores:
  • Pooping in a predefined area that is not one's pants: Cats 1; Finn 0
  • Sleeping through the night without waking up the parents (no points awarded if regularly spend the night locked in the basement): Cats 1; Finn 1
  • Destroying furniture, either by shredding, dismantling or vomiting: Cats 2; Finn 2
  • Bathing self without drowning: Cats 3; Finn 2
OK, so he's still got a little bit to go, but he's catching up! He's actually starting to pick up the call-and-response skills necessary to attend a college football game or perform in a hip-hop music video, but he's so far thwarted our attempts to capture it on video so that will have to wait for a later post.

Here's a video showing another skill that he's picked up from the cats: pulling crap off the Christmas tree. That ornament was securely welded onto that branch but it may as well have been attached with cotton candy.

And while we're showing videos, please take a moment to review this masterpiece of a trailer that was written, directed and produced by some Friends of the Ninja, including father-to-be Grant Calof. Those with delicate sensibilities, like the Grandmas, may want to skip this since it has adult language and themes. OK maybe not the Grandmas, since they have dirty sailor mouths, but the rest of you delicate flowers have been warned.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm screaming at a white Christmas

It snowed 3 inches in West Seattle on Saturday night so Finn got to experience his second snowfall today. I don't think we can really count the freak snowstorm that happened on the day he was born (March 28th, 2008) because he wasn't really up for frolicking around in the snow that day. Lazy newborn!

Today he was all over the place building snowmen, making snow angels, packing ice balls to huck at the cats and making snow forts. We didn't actually capture any of that on film, but trust us it happened. Um yeah, right after he sat comatose in the snow for a while....Did I mention it was COLD?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Silly Tango, tricks are for Finn

Tango always wants to get in on the feeding time action. Finn loves to share.

Finndiana Jones

Finn took his first unassisted step this weekend. It wasn't a big one -- he was just trying to get from the yoga ball to the table -- but it may as well have been a triple-jump given mommy's & daddy's faces. Being that he's only hours past his 8 month birthday, we were not quite expecting this level of locomotion yet.

But we shouldn't have been surprised. To date, this kid has rushed into everything head on. Literally. His gigantic melon is a kaleidoscope of purple and yellow bruises. Not surprising, given the fact that he staggers around on his tip-toes like a drunken Baryshnikov.

Here's an excerpt from Jena's daily update for yesterday:
Finn attacked the room like a madman this morning... moving from object to object in lightning speed while pulling up, opening, shutting, pulling down, climbing over, banging, and throwing anything in his way. Layla and Grace sat in open-mouthed amazement watching Finn's incredible ability to scale all things primary-colored and plastic.
He's insane. Army crawling is as obsolete as a stagecoach ride or a Segway. The boy now splits his time between (hands and knees) speed-crawling and upright cruising with the help of our wide selection of pointy and stabby furniture. In order to limit the bloodshed, I spent the weekend childproofing the house. Every drawer and cabinet in Finnville is now secure, with the exception of the drawer that holds his bibs, because apparently you're supposed to give the kid one thing that he can get into. Plus, it's a lot of fun watching him swing open on that drawer at 150 mph and then slam it back in on his fingers. Good times.

We also now have so many baby gates that navigating through our house feels like the hunt for the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. You need to know exactly when to kneel, where to step and which cup to drink from in order to enter the kitchen or to get up the stairs. The carpets are stained with the blood of those that have failed these tests.

I've also had to lower his crib -- again -- to keep him from jumping out. Since Kitty was studying this weekend, I decided to lock Finn in the room with me while I worked using one of our 157 new baby gates. While I was surveying the scene and revving up the power tools, Finn was dismantling the night light. I caught him just as he was about to take a bite out of the bulb. After rationally discussing with him the importance of not ingesting electricity & glass and gaining confidence that he understood, I spent the next half-hour working on the crib with one hand and wrestling the light bulb out of his hands with the other.

After eventually securing the nightlight, the process was repeated with the bottle warmer, the power drill, and the ratchet set. He eventually found comfort somewhere inside the laundry hamper. At least, that was the last place I saw him. I hope he's still in there.

I fear for our Christmas tree.

Being that it is the season, here's a pic of Finn and mommy at the reindeer feeding this weekend at Swanson's Nursery. Not interested in Blitzen, Finn was eyeing the broken glass at our feet, which I'm sure he thought looked delicious.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ninjas don't snuggle

Finn's never been much of a snuggler. His idea of cuddling is slapping you in the face, pulling your hair or throwing up in your mouth. In fact, he did that to me again today. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and I'm obviously a complete idiot for putting you over my head with my mouth open. Again.

Lately, and out of nowhere, the Ninja has taken to putting his cheek against our cheeks or laying his head on our shoulders when we're holding him. It's extremely sweet and therefore we assumed that it must have been an accident. Like some little girl baby way off in the distance was flashing him and he just needed to crane his neck to see it. But at this point, we're starting to think that it's for real.

This happens mostly in the evening, when he's milk drunk or sleep deprived. Most times, he won't sit still for more than 10 seconds which includes his steadfast refusal to cuddle in bed with us in the morning. At this point we'll take what we can get. Especially since his one true love is clearly himself. He'll sit and stare at our Best of Finn screensaver for hours, smiling whenever he gets a closeup. And last weekend at the cabin, I caught him making out with himself in the mirror.

To be fair, he is extremely good looking. If I were a mirror, I'd be putting the moves on him too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Very (belated) Ninja Thanksgiving

Finn would like everyone to know that he survived Thanksgiving at the cabin. Never a sure thing when you cram him, 6 adults, 3 dogs and an extremely flammable turkey fryer into a tiny little log structure way up in the woods.

He also wants everyone to know that his parents will be trying to up the pace on their blogging following a (modern-era) record poor showing in November. I'm sure he's getting beat up in daycare over it. I doubt he's getting wedgies, because really, who'd put their hands anywhere near a baby's diaper if they didn't have to.

In the meantime, here's a pic of Uncle Rob encouraging Finn to pull things out of Smokey's mouth. Don't worry, we took every precaution in case things got out of hand with their rough-housing. We had three Spider-man band-aids and some Infant Tylenol. Turns out you can fix anything with those supplies.