Archive for June, 2003


Monday, June 30th, 2003

Em was out for a bit last night, being an acolyte at the cathedral’s evensong in honor of Gay Pride Weekend, and I stayed in with Toby. We had fun – he’s getting good with his solid food, and enjoyed almost a whole jar of peas. I’ve learned not to have too much on the spoon, otherwise some interesting physics happen and he manages both to take in and spray out equal quantities of food. Anyway, we had a bit of a play – he can now say “dadadadada” and “bababababa” a lot, and is able to sit up without having to support himself with his hands for longer and longer periods of time which is fun – until he got grumpy and it was changing time. I had been warned about this, but hadn’t appreciated the true horror of how small people’s insides suddenly change when they start eating solids, and the alarming olfactory effect this has on their parents. You don’t want any more details.

stormy night

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

For the third night in a row we had a bunch of storms last night, although these were bigger and fiercer than earlier in the week. Also just when we thought it couldn’t get more hot and humid, it got more hot and humid. Around 7pm Emma was out for a pedicure, so Toby and I were home together having fun (he’s apparently really into pureed apple right now) when we heard the tornado sirens going off. Naturally we did what any red-blooded American would do, and turned on the TV. About six channels were showing the weather, with doppler radar maps showing swirls of green, red and yellow moving across the Twin Cities. British readers of this site will find it amusing that the weatherman on one of our local channels is called Ken Barlow, but he appeared to be doing the best job of giving safety information (get to the basement away from windows), dealing with his rapidly changing maps, telling us repeatedly to watch for the radar showing hook shaped clouds coming out of the storm cells (they indicate rotation, and increased likelihood of tornados) and talking with a reporter or two out in the field. One of the other channels had a guy reading from stacks of paper (no earpieces?) and another had a woman arguing with the guy who was operating the map display – how professional. But Minneapolis itself was passed by fortunately. A couple of towns had some damage, but it sounds like noone was badly hurt. We had a bigger storm around 11pm, with lightning very close, lots of wind and rain (over 6″). Again nothing too serious but Em tells me that there was about a centimetre of water in the basement this morning, which I hope clears out. I think a lot of people had plenty of water, including Paul whose basement window let lots in.

i’ll take three

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

Over lunchtime I usually do the Washington Post crossword, which takes 10 minutes or less – challenging but not too much. Today, as I called up the Post’s front page, I noticed an ad for the FA22_Raptor fighter jet. Huh? To be fair it’s quite an interesting site that it links to, with lots of flash graphics and Flash animation, but sadly there’s no “Add to cart” button anywhere. So how do I get hold of one, unless of course I’m a wealthy and corrupt dictator/unsurgent?


Monday, June 23rd, 2003

We have a most relaxing weekend – didn’t do a whole lot and that was just what we needed. Emma was reading the new Harry Potter and I’m deeply engrossed in Philip Pullman’s amazing His Dark Materials Trilogy which my brother Richard gave me for my birthday. They’re wonderful books.

So we were all feeling quite rested until yesterday evening the weather got more and more clammy which made us all a bit grouchy. At least Em and I aren’t teething as much as Toby, poor guy, who got quite upset at several points in the evening. We got him to sleep at a decent time but we were all woken up around 1ish by huge thunderstorms. I think that was Toby’s first real storm and he seemed a bit unsettled. I took him through to our bed which calmed him down a lot so we slept OK in the end, but I feel like the sleep I caught up on over the weekend has been lost!


Friday, June 13th, 2003

Our little boy is growing up part 3:

Over the last couple of weeks Toby has been taking more and more of an interest in our food, and it’s become even more pronounced lately – he’s been reaching for my plate and my food when he sits on my lap at mealtimes, has been watching our faces very intently while we have mouths full of food, and watches forks or spoons as they go to our mouths. Also he’s been hungry all the time lately, waking up more regularly in the night for food (fortunately he goes back to sleep really quickly) and yesterday morning he ate almost non-stop apart from a one hour nap. Apparently he was laughing while watching his bottle being re-filled. No word from our correspondent on the maniacalness of the laughter, but even so, this is compulsive and alarming behavior.

So we decided yesterday that we should start trying him on solid foods. Many doctors these days say that you should wait till babies are 6 months old before solids, because it can interfere with uptake of nutrients from milk, but we’ve also heard that sometimes the babies themselves won’t wait much longer (Toby’s four and a half months now). We got some organic rice cereal and mixed a tablespoonful with milk so that it was like very milky porridge. I held him on my lap while Emma put the first spoonful in his mouth, both of us prepared for him not to take it, or to spit it out. No chance – he went berserk, pulling the spoon more into his mouth, getting upset when we had to refill the spoon (“Come ONN! I’m HUNGRY!”), sucking on his fingers when they got food on them and in the end actually grabbing hold of the bowl. Needless to say, he ate the whole lot. Much more of an enthusiastic reception than Em and I had expected, but she did point out that any offspring of ours is genetically likely to be foody. And he slept almost nine hours.

what a life

Tuesday, June 10th, 2003

Our usual schedule is as follows – alarm goes off three hours too early, I moan “Oh No!”, get up and stagger through for a shower. Toby wakes up, Emma gives him some breakfast, then puts him down on our bed for a nap while I get my breakfast and she has a shower and I watch Toby. This morning was little different, but made extra special by the fact that when Toby was having his post-breakfast nap he was grinning away in his sleep. Wonderful to watch him while I was sipping my coffee. After a couple of minutes he started laughing, which woke him up. What a great way to start the day.

to me

Tuesday, June 10th, 2003

Happy birthday to me today. 31, can’t believe it. Quite a lot has happened this year to be sure – Toby, the house, etc, so plenty to be thankful for.

Got some great presents this morning, including cool books from my mom and from Richard; also a funky new mouse and great DVD set from my dad. Emma got me the new Yo La Tengo CD and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and Paul got me the latest Radiohead, which I am enjoying as I write this. As much as you can enjoy Radiohead. Seems pretty cool so far.

le weekend

Monday, June 9th, 2003

Felt like a long weekend with all the stuff that happened. We didn’t really do any more work on the house, but I did get around to posting new photos of Toby, now with a handy thumbnail page.

On Saturday a friend of ours from church invited a bunch of us to his very nice house on the shore of Lake Minnetonka. We got there late afternoon, so there was time for a few games of pool and a zoom around the lake on his jetski. I’d never tried one before and must admit I was kind of nervous, but once I got going it was a ton of fun. I don’t think I was the biggest daredevil, but once I was rocketing along it was a totally cool feeling, especially bouncing over the wake of other boats. Hope I can have another go one day.

We were a little dazed yesterday as Toby didn’t sleep so well on Saturday night. He seems to have caught a cold, and also slept badly last night so I’m trying to get by on two nights of only 4 hours of sleep. It’s just after 1pm right now; we’ll see how I’m doing in a couple of hours.


Thursday, June 5th, 2003

Was the world ever really like this? I guess most of that article is way overboard, but I can imagine that if both husband and wife in most relationships treated each other with respect and care there would be a lot more happy marriages.


Thursday, June 5th, 2003

This is quite an amazing article. It really hits home that these were regular young people.