Monday, March 30, 2009

Let him eat cake

Since Memaw Finn was the only Grandparent on hand to witness The Caking, I asked Ken Burns to film it for the rest of the gang. It's not quite Jazz, but it's got a rocking soundtrack just the same.

This was Finn's introduction to refined sugar and you can practically see the good stuff coursing through his veins about a minute and a half in.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday

At 11:40 am this morning, the Ninja turned one year old. Wow. It's been a whole year since the most intense day of my life, when I watched my wife endure 37 straight hours of pain without complaining to deliver the absolute coolest present imaginable.

I've had many different jobs over the last 35+ years -- wedding singer, evening news camerman, Sunday School teacher -- but none have been more challenging or paid more poorly than being a Dad. And that's saying something, because I didn't get paid for any of those jobs.

I can honestly say that even if the last year of my life has been the most exhausting, it's also been hands-down the most rewarding. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I could love another human being as much as I love my son. And his mom ain't bad either, if only because (or especially because) she lets me make fun of her regularly on the interwebs.

Kitty - One year ago today, you outdid yourself and you have yet to let up.
Finn - One year ago today, you arrived and you have yet to disappoint. Though I'm certain that day will come. It sure did for my Dad!

Now let's have some cake!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

La Niñja

There was a time when I was a serious neat freak. I cleaned the house every day, arranging all of the books & magazines so that they faced the same direction and had flush edges, and angling all of the pillows just so. The Swiffer Duster was my favorite possession. Then we moved into a house that was twice as big with three times as many bathrooms and things got challenging, but I was still able to maintain some semblance of cleanliness.

Then Finn was born and the house devolved into three-story, diaper-scented formula stain. I was forced to trade beer money for a housekeeper just to keep the cat hair tumbleweeds from taking over the house. Best decision ever.

Rosa and her team descend on the house every three weeks, and I'm serious when I say "team". When they had first started, Kitty and I were still on leave with Finn and were at home when they showed up. We ran back upstairs to get ready to go somewhere and let them clean and in the 3 minutes that we were up there, they had completely dismantled the house down to the studs, hand washed every board, nail & piece of fabric and had begun putting it all back together. Their efficiency is staggering.

Unfortunately, their memories... not so much. They're not great at recalling exactly where each piece of furniture / silverware / clothing originated, so they just put stuff back randomly. I found cough syrup in the shower one day. I spend at least half an hour every third Tuesday walking around the house replacing furniture, rearranging the kitchen and questioning where the cats are.

I mention this all because I now think the Ninja is part Latina housekeeper. He's amazing at taking things apart quickly -- always has been. It's part of his Ninja charm. But now he's starting to put them back together and I can tell we're going to have some issues. It's not that he's not trying. I sat on his floor the other day and watched him try to put away a piece of clothing, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't supposed to go in the toilet. And I'm sure his toys aren't supposed to go in the salad spinner.

But at least he's trying. Just like I'm sure Team Rosa is trying.

Although, I'm pretty sure Rosa doesn't roll around in the dirt pile in the kitchen right after sweeping up. That's still a signature Ninja move.

Here's a bedding display baby we found at Bed, Bath & Beyond this weekend. We got him for 20% off with our coupon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Turns out Finn's not a very good swimmer.

No, seriously. He's terrible.

Given that his dad is a former swim team coach and his mom is part Orca (Ruffles is her third cousin, twice removed), and due to the fact that he was born underwater, we kind of assumed he'd know what he was doing in the drink, but he sinks like a stone. No matter how much of a running start we get tossing him in, he can't skip to the other side.

So we signed him up for swimming lessons. We were determined that he be practicing his butterfly in the kiddie pool this summer, but the reality is that we've only attended 3 of the 8 classes to date. It's not that he's not enjoying himself, it's more the fact that:
  1. The water temperature in the pool is roughly 47 degrees below zero. The instructor is wearing a wet suit. Finn's fancy swim shirt is no match and his teeth are chattering immediately.
  2. There are three classes in this pool happening consecutively, with roughly 20 kids in each class. As a result, it is impossible to change Finn after class in the credit-card sized locker room. This forces a mad dash straight from the pool to the car and a beeline home to the bath. I'm tired of driving home in a towel. This isn't LA.
  3. Being that it is Seattle, the pool has eschewed chlorine for ultraviolet lights. This really helps you see the bacteria swarming you. And it's just as bad out of the water. I'm afraid to let him touch the ground.
  4. The hot tub is an extra $.50. This bugs me on principle.
After attending 3 classes, I'm pretty sure I could do this myself. I had expected something fancy like the creepy baby "drown-proofing", but instead we get 1/2 hour of "Wheels on the Bus" and the "Hokey Pokey" with splashing and blue lips. There are 4 classes left and we'll probably make a couple of them, just because I'd hate to feel like we didn't get our money's worth.

But you can bet we're going to sneak into that hot tub.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mommy decision tree

A good Mommy worries about her child. This goes without saying. However, if this Mommy was already pre-disposed to worry, when it comes to the child the Mommy anxiety-meter will overload causing a complete analysis-paralysis.

The symptoms that Finn was showing on Friday related to his current case of baby-plague included deep circles under his eyes, something that we had not seen previously. Coupled with his incessant snot and malaise, this was enough to have Mommy immediately thinking "sinus/ear infection". The problem was that the Mommy was also sick. The brain fog from that along with her incredible innate worrying capabilities was enough to send her into uncertainty-lock while trying to figure out what to do about it.

In the end, after 14,000 phone calls/emails/IM's to me to discuss, she brought him in to the doc who determined that while he had some minor inflammation in his ear, intravenous antibiotics and/or a sinusectomy would not be necessary. I'm glad she was worried and I'm glad she took Finn to the doctor, but we probably could have gotten to that decision point a little quicker.

So in an effort to help reduce the time-to-doctor next time around, I went way back in my brain to my days as a project manager and developed a flowchart for her to use next time this happens. Hopefully this will be of use to you too.

Forgive the sloppiness. It's been a long time since I've done one of these. As Kitty is a much better project manager than me, I'm sure she can help get this into Visio as soon as she gets better. Of course, she'll also probably be compelled to create a "Daddy stop watching baseball since everyone knows that spring training games don't count and the World Baseball Classic is meaningless and help me out with the baby tree", but I'm actually looking forward to that. It can only help.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Oyster Flu

I hate to say this, since I'm starting to bore myself with this story, but we're sick again. Our trash cans are full of tissues and my pants are covered in snot. I don't think it's mine, but I'm not looking too closely.

This time, I'm not going to blame son Finn. I'm going to blame Grandpa Finn, who popped in over the weekend carrying authentic Ninja shirts from Japan and what I can only assume is the SARS. Try as we might, we couldn't kill the bug using the age-old remedy of oysters and alcohol, so we're now still holed up in bed.

Luckily, before the bird flu kicked in, we were able to enjoy the weekend with Grandpa and with additional surprise visitors Aunt Nicole & Uncle Keith. Not being idiots and knowing that their only shot at some oysters was to drag their butts up here, they popped in to "see their nephew".

Attached are pictures of Grandpa Finn teaching his grandson about electricity, and of Nicole & Rob fattening up the Ninja while Keith tries to describe the size gun I'm going to need to get the sock monkey and lederhosen boy out of the dead tree over my left shoulder.

Don't ask.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


With the move to finger foods, the Ninja is having a hard time getting all of his dinner into his cry-hole. As a result, he does not seem to be gaining weight fast enough.

We've decided to supplement.

I hope this pic won't come back to hurt his baseball career.

Monday, March 2, 2009


The Ninja celebrated the successful completion of his 11th month on Saturday in style. That is to say, in a small room with an older gentleman complimenting him on his penis.

I didn't expect that to happen for another 17 years. At least, not without Chris Hansen jumping out of the bushes.

Of course, in this case, Chris would have been wasting his time. The older gentleman was a urologist and we were at the doctor getting an update on a potential issue that had been flagged months ago. Finn's problems with his tongue-tie are well documented, but what we never touched on is the fact that his tongue isn't the only place he's tied. Yes, he's wiener-webbed.

The check-up went well and it turns out his WW is minor. It will likely still call for some corrective action, but we're going to wait until he's 15 or 16 for that one. We want to make sure he remembers it.

Just kidding. We'll do it soon. We'll rely on his teenage realization that I just told the whole world about his wiener to add the desired level of discomfort.

To complete the future embarrassment, here's a snapshot of what dinner time in the Parker household is like these days. Mommy has determined that we are now fully migrated to finger foods. This would be fine, if Mommy didn't also insist that every food was a finger food.

Finn's got some small fingers, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't make rice a finger food.

Here he is using his precision kung-fu grip to spread spaghetti and salmon out on the floor for the cats.