Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rainbow Road

My favorite Simpson's quote (this week): "I'm better than okay. I'm Homer Simpson."

You may ask yourself, how did I get here? But the road signs are there in Rubbermaid containers underneath our beds; in the ghosts within my boxed-up N64 waiting patiently for me to beat your course records with Toad. The exit sign says Evansville and we meant to do something spectacular with it. The exit sign says Ashby Barret and I still mean to write a character who bears that name.

I can think of 1,916 more mile markers.

Was that the question? "How will I get here?" Did I hear it asked as I tiptoed through that house, over empty jewel cases, a shoe-box and your sleeping bodies on my way to turn off season 8? Was it hidden in that book by Anthony Towne? Did the question drift slurred and muffled through the smoke and around the charcoal, conte and pencil drawing of the yo-yo, into the three-way stop of a hallway, under the door and over the bed to my ears?

Am I sure that I even heard it asked?

And can we consider it answered?

At any rate, the context is squared away, filed away … the past is past. I’ll still stand with you proudly, adjust my glasses and yell up to the wrinkled night sky (Mufasa, Vader, Moonlight Graham...), “No way, man! We're gonna keep on rockin' forever! Forever! Forever. Forever...”

What keeps me from plodding further in search of the old question and answer is that you revel with me in the new: Will I yell down the same thing to a fresh-faced young man who happens to bear the name of my father? Will I be the sort of wrinkled night sky that would do that?

When I took out the trash this morning I could only find one glove and so my naked left hand cracked and bled in the dry cold.

I don't mind the glove. It fits. Keeps my hand warm. I'm okay, really.

In fact, I'm better than okay. I'm Homer Simpson.

This is my beautiful wife. This is my beautiful house. This is my large automobile.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

These Little Piggies Had Tofu

So I'm going to get around to changing the title and header (but not the URL) of this blog eventually. Things are a bit hectic at the moment.

Actually, I lie. Things are quite peaceful at the moment. Liam's sleeping on the couch next to me, three hours of nap and counting... It's probably going to be a long night of awakeness up in the bedroom.

I took photos and video of Anna and Liam's first meeting at the hospital. Here are the photos. Video will come hopefully within a few days.

Like every other human, she loves the feeling of a baby holding her finger.

Liam's a sucker. So much so that mere minutes out of the womb I got him to calm down by putting my pinkie finger in his mouth (he also successfully breast-fed right away ... though I give 99% of the credit there to my experienced wife).

Anyway, Anna got on in the finger-sucking action. It looks like she's trying to decide, in the photo below, where the other finger is going to go.

Liam was breast-feeding and Anna was on the bed next to Jen. She wanted to give him a kiss and a hug again, but Jen suggested she look at his little feet instead. "Can I kiss his toe, Mommy?" she asked. The answer was yes.

The whole fam damily fit on a hospital bed. Ah, the things you do for a good photo.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Live Blog of Liam's Birth


7:15 pm - Jen (that's my wife's name - I've referred to her as Mrs. Piggy up until today) is laying in the full bath tub. I'm sitting on the toilet next to her. Candle lit. Contractions are coming less than 4 minutes apart and lasting 40 seconds or so. We've called the midwife and she told Jen to take a bath. So ... we'll see.

Anna's downstairs making cookies with her aunt, who's living with us for the time being. The cookies are for my 30th birthday, which is tomorrow! Anna's already started singing happy birthday to me and Liam.

My brother and his wife's son was born today in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Babies all around!

8:07 - We're off to the hospital!

9:29 - We're at the hospital! She's at 8 cm and we're going to have this baby tonight!!! Probably before midnight!!!

10:09 - Welcome baby Liam! Born at 9:46. 8 and 9 on the APGAR, great! Had a little miconium (sp?), but coughed it out and got it sucked out. Had a healthy cry and is now calm on Jen's chest.


12:05 - I'm 30 years old and Liam's asleep in my arms. This is the best birthday present money can't buy.

12:43 - couple photos:

Anna and I were playing Scrabble yesterday. She wanted to spell her name and it kept going from there:

7:13 - Liam's sleeping by himself right now with his hands up by his face. It's awesome. He breast fed really great last night and slept most of the night. He only woke up when the nurses came in to wake him up. Mom and Dad got significantly less sleep, of course. In fact, if I had to wager a guess, I'd say that I got none. None sleep. That sounds about right.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Liam's Birth Mix

The hospital we're delivering at has free wi-fi, so of course I'm bringing my laptop.

We made a mix CD for Anna's birth and I wanted to do something similar for Liam's. Here is the "Liam's Birth Mix" playlist currently in my iTunes:

1. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds
2. To Build a Home (live version) - The Cinematic Orchestra
3. Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
4. I Was Born - Natalie Merchant
5. Which Will - Nick Drake
6. I'll be Your Mirror - Velvet Underground
7. This Must Be the Place - Talking Heads
8. Do You Realize - The Flaming Lips
9. Furr - Blitzen Trapper
10. Gobbledigook - Sigur Rós
11. It's the Sun - The Polyphonic Spree
12. Legal Man - Belle and Sebastian
13. Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key - Billy Gragg with Wilco featuring Natalie Merchant
14. Lightning Rod - Guster
15. Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World - Izrael Kamakawiwo'ole
16. Light & Day - The Polyphonic Spree
17. All U Can Eat - Ben Folds
18. Born Secular - Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins
19. Cristobal - Devendra Banhart
20. Mother Nature's Son - The Beatles
21. White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
22. Better People - Xavier Rudd
23. Vein of Stars - The Flaming Lips
24. We Crawl - The Polyphonic Spree
25. Atoms For Peace - Thom Yorke
30. Starálfur - Sigur Rós
31. Memory - Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack
32. To Build a Home (album version) - The Cinematic Orchestra
33. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

What do you think? Am I missing any crucial birthing songs? Anything that seems out of place?

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Shorn Identity

When Anna was three months old I quit my job to stay home with her. That was two years and three months ago. I started growing my beard the day I quit my job.

I never let it get to long. It got shaggy now and then, but 5 minutes with a scissors and a razor took care of that.

It looked pretty good from the front.

But it never really did fill in.

And from certain angles it just looked plain creepy.

Seriously, isn't that the grossest photo you've ever seen?

And now Liam is due to arrive soon and I've gone and shaved it all off.

It's my birthday present to him. You gotta figure a newborn, someone who has known nothing except for the smoothness and fluidity of the uterus for these last nine months, would probably rather not have a scratchy hairy face kissing his cheeks over and over again.

I brought Anna to the bathroom with me and let her watch me shave it off. She was pretty freaked out, but not in a scared way, just in a "I've never seen this man in my life" way. She got used to it pretty quickly. I let her put lotion on the places where hair used to be.

Today I'm watching a couple friends' one year old and Anna told her, "Look at daddy, Ella! It looks funny! Daddy's face is funny!"

I said, "Daddy's face is going to be like this for a long time, Anna. You'd better get used to it."

"Yeah," she said, "Liam will like it."

I don't know if I'll grow the hair back again. I do know that I miss it already. I've forgotten what my face looked like without hair, and I have to say I like it better with. I feel significantly less cool without the beard. Not that being cool is something I tend to concern myself with ... usually.

But it also feels really nice to be able to wash my whole face now and not have to scrub my beard. And kissing my wife, daughter (and soon-to-be son) is ten times better without hair.

So, happy early birthday Liam, from your uncool dad.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh Time, Where Have You Gone?

Things are moving along swiftly here in the Piggy household. Time is drawing nearer and nearer to that day when the title of this blog will need to change to These instead of This; Piggies instead of Piggy.

If all goes as planned (and I'm not crossing my fingers), Liam should arrive in about a week and a half. Gah!

So we're busy getting our rubber duckies in a row, hence the lack of blogging as of late. (I had a feeling that when I posted every weekday in October that it would translate into very little blogging for the next few months. My feeling was correct.)

SO, probably no more blogs between now and the birth day. They have free wi-fi at the hospital though, so I hope to be able to post from there on the day of or the day after his birth.

I'd totally live-blog the birth, but I'm worried about getting the computer too close to the birthing tub (yay water birth! ... and that's assuming that things go as planned and we meet the criteria for a water birth).

Oh, and Anna's been sick for about a week and just woke up coughing. Damn teething.

So ... bye!