Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Due Day, Mason!

Today at parent-teacher conferences I was told...
...I don't give enough homework.
...I give too much homework.
...the text books are horrible.
...I speak good Spanish (they were being very kind. I conjugated at least all the verbs incorrectly).
...I am providing a vehicle (knitting) for a woman's son to turn gay.

But enough about my work. You came to hear about Mason (one of my students, the gay one, asked me, "Why is Mason so famous?" I guess he just has that "jue-no-say-quah"). Today was Mason's Due Day. He is now well over 9lbs. Jen sure dodged a bullet there. I can't imagine how red her face would have turned trying to fire out this:

Ok, I guess seeing the dog exiting the birth canal would have been a real shock. Still, there are worse cases. Take, for example, the student in my class whose mother just cranked out baby number 5. It was a girl. A twelve pound girl! Now that is something to talk about! Discuss.

In other news, Mason has once again made waves to impress all the "How-de-doo-dats" out there. His tricks, sorry, illusions, are feats of infant strength and skill. Today, it was The Amazing Head Lift. Where many have tried and failed, Mason rocks the house!

Boohyah! Happy Due Day, Mason!


Mason has developed this incredible talent for quickly and effectively escaping from his swaddling blankets. He has moves to obfuscate the mind of Harry himself! I know, I know... you're child can do this too. All I can say is, "Does your child do it with a face melting soundtrack?!No?!

Well, here he is, Mason Jonah, with 80's pop sensation, Europe!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Mom's Life

Looking after a newborn is hard work. Just ask Jen.

I returned to work a week after Mason was born. Back to school. Back to life. Work is work.

Jen has been keeping up her home routine with Mason. Those of you who have newborn experience know the drill... wake... change... feed... sleep... wake... change... feed... sleep... wake... change... feed... sleep... wake... change... feed... feed... feed... feed...

This is the routine. This is a mom's life. In a recent email to a friend, Jen wrote about the exciting events of her day:

"I just woke up from a huge nap. Mason and I got up and drove Josh [to a conference] this morning because parking is crazy downtown. Then we headed back home and hung out with Onyx and ate. Then totally crashed. He is still out so I get to take a shower and chat with you. I know this isn't an exciting story, simply a recap of an uneventful morning, but I felt the need to talk to you. It is funny, I always tell my students to share something about their weekend or whatever that was a highlight, not just the normal stuff such as waking up and eating breakfast...blah blah boring."

Jen's "normal stuff" might not be glamorous, and it might not make a great Hallmark movie, but I am and will be forever grateful for the time that she is giving to our child, our family. When we look back on these months, so many years from now, so many more feedings from now, it will be the "normal stuff" we will miss the most. The quiet feedings and the hours when time seemed to stand still and the world revolved around our new family.

Thank-you Jen.

Oh, and if you have a moment, drop Jen a note. She would love to hear about your "normal stuff."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gettin' My Bath On

Well, technically this is his second bath, and the quality of the video is kinda poor because I shot it on my still camera; however, it is in fact Mason, and he is indeed wet. So, what do you want. Besides, I took a whole bunch of time to put this together, and, while I know I am no Scorsese, I think it works. Enjoy!

Oh, yeah. I edited the footage so as to keep the PG-13 rating. If you would like to see the "uncut" reels, you will have to come over for a visit.

Pumpkin Thief

So, I walked out onto our porch last night to discover that one of the three pumpkins from our trip to the pumpkin patch was missing. As I scanned the lawn to investigate this caper, I discovered the thief hiding with his prize among the weeds.

Great Pumpkins!

Fall. A time for leaves. A time for soup. A time for burning out the dust in your furnace. A time for extra-hot, tall, two-pump, vanilla, nonfat lattes. A time for babies and pumpkins!

I know this is late, but need I repeat myself about time well spent? Halloween came and went and left many of you to wonder about Mason's inaugural holiday.

It went something like this:

Having Grandma Strong in town for the week provided an ideal opportunity for our family to have our Pumpkin Portrait taken since we now had our own personal photographer in tow. So many times Jen and I are on our own to try and get a family photo. This usually means taking two separate pictures and Photoshoping them into one, or getting a passer-by to take a picture which inevitably becomes a shot of disembodied heads floating in the vast blue sky.

So, after feeding Mason, and starting the 3 hour baby-travel timer, we dressed Mason in his Halloween garb, packed the diaper bag and stroller, loaded everything into the car, and drove the 2 minutes to the Pumpkin Patch.

Once there, we were immediately bombarded by the swirling dust storms of the parking lot as holiday fiends raced to have one last glimpse of the Haunted Barn, Trampoline House, and the guy who has nothing better to do than stand around and scare little kids. Finally, we made it to the patch, and I scoped out fantastically spooky old tree as a backdrop for our family photo. I took a few test photos just to check framing. When we were all set and ready to document this historic moment, an entire hay ride full of ghoulish families invaded the scene, kicking up dust and cluttering up our photo. So, to avoid being trampled, we abandoned this setting and set off to find another location.

After pausing for a moment to take a break from the heat of El Nino (as Chelsa made so perfectly clear, Sacramento Halloweens do seem more like summer holidays), we took a long walk to the dregs of the pumpkin patch.

Mama Ray finds an ironic, green tree to shade little Mason from the ironic, fall sun.

Papa Ray and Mason have a pattern war. Mason is the victor!

It was here, amongst the decaying corpses of the pumpkins that time forgot, we were able to have the peace we needed to get on with our picture taking.


Fall. A time for family. A time for loved ones. A time for snuggling. A time for trekking back to the car through the hordes of screaming kids, dirty farm animals and dusty parking lot to travel back home and spend the next several hours wiping down the stroller. I love Fall!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ok, Fine...I'm Back!

Well, here it is! The blog you have all been waiting for. I know it has been some time since I posted my last entry. Well, excuse me for wanting to spend some time with my family, and not giving all of you out there a play-by-play of my private life. Geez! As if all I have to do is sit here at the dining room table and type all this blah-blah-blog for you all to gush over!

Ok, with that off my chest, how are you? We have been doing just swell. Our little trio +K9 has been working to get into some form of a routine. Man, babies are needy!

Mason's First Visit to Starbucks

We have been making an effort to get out from time to time. Between feedings, we have a 3 hour window in which to make our outings. Timing is crucial for a successful "out-of-home" event.

The entire outing usually follows this pattern:
- Secure child in safety seat
- Cover child with various child insulation items
- Fill diaper bag with necessary accoutrements
- Sift through piles of crap to find car keys
- Relocate all said items to car
- Get in car
- Realize you forgot to pack extra "onesie" for potential explosive, onesie-soiling episode
- Get out of car
- Retrieve extra onesie
- Get Greenie for jealous dog
- Get back into car
- Drive around the block
- Return home for next feeding

Mason and Josh Order Breakfast