Archive for May, 2003

toby pictures

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

My friend Mark at church posted a couple of pictures of Toby on our MSN message board. You can click here to see them. There’s also a pic or two of his (Toby’s) mom.

the greatest band in the world

Tuesday, May 27th, 2003

Paul lent me a CD by Tenacious D over the weekend – fantastic stuff. If somewhat profane. Or possibly because of it. I recommend their website for great videos etc.

long weekend

Tuesday, May 27th, 2003

Aaah, it was great to have an extra day at the weekend. We did lots of things, but in a good relaxed kind of way. It started Friday afternoon with a trip to Home Depot to get a weed trimmer and some motion detector security lights for the outside of the house, then we went for an excellent dinner at the home of our friends David and Joseph. The following morning we took them to the airport, as they are off to Ireland on vacation the lucky things, and stopped at the Mall of America. This featured a quick run to Old Navy to get some emergency clothes for Toby, who had had something of an accident in the car on the way, poor guy. Also on Saturday I sang at a wedding at the cathedral, and we went for dinner at Paul and Claire’s. Lauren their daughter is coming on so well with her speaking. She was calling me Andrew for the first time, it was really sweet.

I didn’t need to be at the cathedral on Sunday morning, so got to some home things, including priming the garage door for repainting. It’s kind of old and was just varnished wood, which looked really bad after someone put graffitti on back in September – it was impossible to clean. So new paint is just the thing. I finished the painting yesterday, and it was cool how many people stopped to say hi as they were walking past. One woman said “Great job, brother”. Just doing our bit for the neighborhood. I sang at the evensong service on Sunday afternoon, which went very well and we had a good crowd in attendance, and then Emma, Toby and I wandered over to her boss’s house for a fab dinner. They live in a beautiful old Victorian-era house near us, it was great to see the inside and the things they’d done to it. The food and the company were excellent, a very enjoyable evening.

So yesterday the weather was great and I finished the garage door, as mentioned earlier. Also I put up one of the security lights, which was a bit easier than I’d expected. Seems to work just fine. Emma continued her project of clearing out the side garden, which we’re hoping to pave at some point to have our own barbecue spot, and it’s looking really good. The front garden on the other hand is getting a bit out of control, so there’s plenty to do on that. We have some nice plants there but also some creepers which are getting everywhere, no idea how to get rid of them. But it’s still better than before we moved in, when apparently it was impossible to see any of the first floor of the house.

getting bigger

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

Toby had his four month checkup this afternoon. Here’s the scoop:

Weight: 15 pounds 10 ounces

Height: 25 1/2 inches

The doctor seemed really happy with how he’s doing, and apart from Toby not enjoying his shots, all went very well.

fine writing

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

No, not what I write here, but I finished reading a Kurt Vonnegut book last night – Cat’s Cradle. It’s the first Vonnegut book I’ve read, and was very powerful for its insight, and its compact power. In a nutshell the narrator is writing a book on the “father of the bomb” and what happened on the day that the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. It turns out that this Dr Hoenikker also created a form of ice which freezes any water it touches at room temperature – a deadly weapon as of course its effects spread uncontrollably. So the narrator becomes involved with Hoenikker’s bizzare children, leading to a slightly predictable but nonetheless dramatic conclusion. Along the way Vonnegut invents an island nation and a religion. It’s quite spooky in many ways, and as many of the best books do, resonates today, especially when he ironically says how important it is to record history, so that people will read and learn and not repeat the same mistakes. Although it seems that in many ways it is important for people to make their recordings of history known, as this Slate article about the Cuban missile crisis and its effects on the Vietnam war demonstrates.

baby talk

Thursday, May 15th, 2003

We’re working on getting Toby to sleep in his own room, what with having spent a lot of time painting it (from ecclesiastical/Barney the Dinosaur purple to soothing green/blue) and a lot of money on a ceiling fan and a crib, mattress and various foofy bedthings I didn’t realize that babies apparently need. Plus he’s generally sleeping through the night, so it feels like it’s time for him to be a bit more independent. Last night however he woke at 4ish, so Emma gallantly went through to feed him. She’s been great at feeding him in the night, something I feel slightly guilty about, but very grateful for. He was quite hungry, but also very awake, which is also unusual as he usually falls asleep right after his night-time feed. So she took him through to our room, where he lay and sang, loudly and happily, for a bit – “LA LA LA BBBBRRR LA LA GOOO LA LA”. It was extremely cute, which almost but not quite made up for it being four in the morning.


Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

A rather unpleasant (in my opinion) law was passed in Minnesota at the end of last month, meaning that law-abiding citizens will find it easier to obtain and carry handguns. Because there clearly is not enough gun violence in this country. So an aspect is that workplaces can put up signs to say that they don’t allow firearms in the building, which I’m glad they don’t but it’s somewhat unnerving to see on the way into the office. Another aspect is that many workplaces, in the interests of safety, are implementing wider search rights including searching employees’ bags, desks, closets and so on. Which again, good for safety, but when the good old Republicans say that they passed this law to increase civil liberties – the Second Amendment – it seems that it is in fact decreasing other liberties – allowing people to search my possesions, and oh yeah, my right not to be injured or killed by some nutter. A bit like the Patriot Act – to protect our liberties we’re going to encroach upon them.


Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

We had a few friends over last night for home-made pizza (actually made by those friends, but in our home – bit of a result) and a game of Cranium. Despite having been given the game for Christmas, we hadn’t gotten around to playing it yet. It was surprisingly good fun – there’s a lot of variety in that there’s some general knowledge, some word- or number-play, some singing and charades, and some drawing (some of which needs to be done with eyes shut) and clay modelling. And it was made almost more fun by the fact that it took only about an hour or so – some of these games drag on and on and on and they’re less of a pleasure after three hours. Kind of like Monopoly, which we got ages ago and also still haven’t played.

It was a bit too much for Toby, though. He was doing really well all night and being involved but he started getting quiet at about 8:30. I had him sitting forward on my knee while we were playing so that he could see what was going on, but after about 20 minutes he kind of flopped back onto me. He’d fallen asleep sitting up, bless him.

his pal al

Tuesday, May 13th, 2003

We were, as usual, in Target this weekend getting essentials. We wandered down the baby toy aisle, but Toby didn’t seem too interested until I showed him this:

My Pal Al

It’s called My Pal Al and he went mad for it! So, what with it only being 8 bucks, we bought it and took it home for him. So far he totally loves it – it’s colorful and makes a good crinkly noise. Most of his toys are quite small but this is about 2 feet long, almost as long as he is, and he loves wrestling with it, looking a bit like Crocodile Dundee.

having a laugh

Monday, May 5th, 2003

For the past few weeks when Toby’s laughed at something (such as being swung around, or, bizarrely, having someone take his arms out of his sleeves) he’s looked like he was laughing, but no sound would actually come out. But gradually a very cute laugh is coming – I put a little video on his site at the weekend. It’s the best sound in the world I think.

Last night I took a bath and towards the end when the water was cooler I took Toby in with me. When we bath him on his own we have very shallow water, but last night it was good and deep so his feet floated up in front of him. He seemed to think this was great, and he laughed and laughed.