instant gramming

February 26, 2010

Inspiration: Forest Kindergarten

The forest kindergarten at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs is one of a handful in the United States that are taking that concept [reconnecting children with nature] to another level: its 23 pupils, ages 3 ½ to 6, spend three hours each day outside regardless of the weather.
from a nytimes article (here)

February 24, 2010

Tummy Tales

At her appointment this morning the doctor told C that the mysterious stomach aches she has been feeling frequently could be Braxton Hicks contractions! Not so fun for her as they've been a source of discomfort--but a relief for me to think they could be a sign that her body is working the way it should!


Been reading my way backwards through this blog. This guy seems to be living a pretty charmed life--which is easy to say based on a condensed collection of beautiful photos and stories of amazing trips... Just a great inspiration to share...

Aaron Teasdale - Deputy Editor at Adventure Cycling Association
Click here:

More snow

Yesterday I had the day off. The glaciers have been retreating and I was starting to feel the relief--able to take a deep breath as if all the snow on the roof had been weighing down my lungs. The driveway and walkways were all clear. Dry even. I went on a bike ride in the sweltering 36-degree temperatures. Only one pair of gloves and a cycling cap instead of a beanie. Last night I took an opportunity to wash down the bike with soapy water, clean the chain, and lube it up.

This morning? Snow. Not a lot, but enough to shock me. I wasn't angry as I had enough time to shovel the driveway and paths before any footsteps or tires pressed the light fluff into dense ice trails.

Anyway, we're supposed to keep getting snow through the week. I was really done with it all. I'm ready for Spring!

February 23, 2010


C has been waking up at 4AM on the dot. That sucks. For her, not me, duh. Amazingly, I've been waking up, too, and managing to talk to her, even if only for a few words before passing out again.

Her back has been really hurting and she's been having an achy stomach or heartburn which seem to alternate randomly. I can only figure that this is the build up before the storm. Mostly she is tired all day long after a crappy night's sleep, and it's not helping that she has been working so hard. Taking naps in the evening is only working against her.

Anyway, we're working hard to stay positive..!

February 22, 2010

Gifts, House, Bathroom (T Minus 7 Weeks)

Not much to say--actually, plenty is going on, just nothing to write about. All you need to know is Time is moving slow and fast.

We received our first present off our registry from our cousin in the mail!(Phew! Count the number of prepositions in that sentence!) And we ordered our crib yesterday! That should be here... probably before the baby comes. More art is getting finished and our baby's room is going to be rad-with-a-capital-R, as they say.

Plumbers are supposed to be here tomorrow to start the first step in constructing a second bathroom in our basement. I have no clue what is to be done and am worried that it's going to be messed up on my watch. Messed up and expensive. I can deal with "awesome and expensive" but not "messed up."

What does that do with being a dad, you ask? Everything. Ultimately this bathroom will serve our babysitters friends and family and hopefully attract a few more to stay for longer trips; longer down the road, when our daughter is an angst-ful, hormonal teen and getting ready for dates school or whatever, we wont be fighting over the space. Anyway, we agreed a while ago it was something to get done before Baby arrives, so here we are: the eleventh hour.

February 17, 2010

Attack of the Abominable Snowman & Happiness

Way back in college, someone started a saying; a simultaneous question and exclamation, the history of which I can only conjecture: "What the D?" Probably a perversion of "What is the deal...?" it rivals another favorite of mine: "W-T-F?"
And that's what I'm asking the world, with all its snow, piled atop layers of more, merciless snow and ice: What the D?

At first it was beautiful and exciting and fun. But after so much of it, it's hard not to get frustrated and bummed out about it. Aldy is stuck inside a lot more than on warmer days; I'm constantly having to shovel the driveway and have lost the ability to bike to work; C's job is affected when schools are closed and meetings are canceled for snow emergencies; and we're all uneasy about the mounting ice/snow pile on our roof and the new, mysterious trickle of water down in the basement.  It makes me want to freak out!

But each time I realize I am starting to be overwhelmed with pessimism, I give myself a moment to collect as many optimistic, positive thoughts that I can. Aldy really enjoys playing in the snow and I can let him hang outside for a long time while I shovel and scrape the driveway; the water in the basement was coming from one, isolated spot, and C's dad suggested that maybe the problem with the water leak isn't as big as we were worrying about.

It's been helpful that C has brought home a few books that explore Happiness and (through her) I've been channeling optimism and considering what it is that makes me happy. I say "through her" because I don't really read. I mean, I can read, but for whatever reason I have a strong aversion to reading and absorbing information through books--especially non-fiction. Unfortunately, I have no interest in fiction. Either way, I haven't exactly figured out what are my values, but they include optimism for sure. So, for now, we're waiting out the snow. With C growing a baby, we're limited in what snow sports we can partake, but eating food is still on the table. Get it?

February 15, 2010

Birth 101

This weekend was our "Express Labor & Delivery" course. I can't believe that it was as bad as C expected, but I'll say that she wasn't too impressed and that I know she wouldn't do it again. Honestly, it was a lot of fluff; stuff we've read about a lot of times, in books and on the internet. But it was nice to see examples of how women deal with pain and stress relief, and I do well with multiple, supplemental modes of learning. I even took notes. Altogether, I figure, some of that information has got to stick in my head.

I was pretty glad to be done with it, and couldn't imagine going to that class drawn out over 5 weeks. The most useful 2 things I think we walked away with is (1) the email of the instructor who seems to be the nicest, kindest nurse ever and (2) a tour of the maternity pavilion. I was also pretty impressed with how useful a fitness ball can be during labor. I've already developed an idea of what a perfect labor would be, but, as we keep reading, we can't go in with very many expectations.
That said, I have big hopes that we can get in one of the three rooms with a jacuzzi tub in it. Cause I'm bringin my swim trunks.

February 10, 2010


In the face of so many changes, recent ones and those on the horizon, I'm considering giving this blog some crazy Spring Cleaning; purging out a lot of the junk I don't need, and starting on a relatively clean slate.

With less hours at work (however temporary that's supposed to be) and a baby on the way, I've been thinking a lot about our life and how this is a great opportunity to re-envision the Good Life. As this blog has been a fun way to document my days, I want to keep this form, but start fresh. I've got a lot of posts that are negative, boring, or more akin to one's Facebook status update, and otherwise irrelevant to shaping or documenting my good life.

More family, more art, more gardening, more food and recipes, more health, more photos, more videos.

Like any literal cleaning effort, you look through all your stuff, call up old memories, then come up with all the reasons why you should keep a particular thing.

Yesterday I stumbled upon a case of old cassette tapes in a closet--mostly mixes from friends--already paired down from the larger collection I used to have when I actually had a cassette tape player. A bunch of old punk and hardcore, some "emo" stuff, Nirvana Unplugged (my first tape ever), and a copy of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. These make up the soundtrack to my teenage years. I don't know what to do with them, but avoiding the trash is my priority.

What should I do with all the junk of my previous blog posts? I really do want to have a clean start. For now, my plan is to export any worthwhile posts to an archive and some old posts will remain.

Doctor Visit: Week 31

Joined C on a doctor visit this morning. All is well. C's baby bump is measuring 33 weeks when we are really at 31 weeks, which might only mean a big bambino. Baby's heart rate is good and normal. I asked about the somersault the baby did this morning, and apparently that's still okay at this point.

These appointments go really fast. The doctor is only in the room for about 5 minutes or so. I'm not sure what else to expect from her, but I just wish she would offer up more details about what we should be looking forward to. I suppose the problem is we never ask good questions. I bet that would spur her to talk.
I haven't been to every doctor appointment. Not because I don't want to be there, but C has insisted that they aren't very important and that she doesn't care if I'm there. When she says "I don't care" I hear "I don't want you to be there." Because if she did want me to be there, she would care. I'm okay with not being there if it's easier for her to be there alone with the doctor. But that's not it. She admitted yesterday that it's about making a (big) deal about going to the doctor when it shouldn't be that way. I think it's important, and I feel like an unsupportive jerk when I don't tag along.

Last night, realizing that my work schedule has changed quite a bit, I didn't even have something I needed to do (i.e. my job), so I made the decision to join her. If nothing else I got her to laugh a bit and it was nice to hang out a little while longer before trudging to the office.

February 9, 2010

Free time

Taking advantage of my first short work day. Dropped off a bill at the City building, got home around 3:30, did dishes, shoveled some of the snow that keeps piling on while Aldy played in the edible landscape, did a load of laundry, cleaned/organized our "art" room, talked to my mom, and just started a homemade pizza dinner...

Effing amazing.

February 8, 2010

Breaking News in the Real World: Work less, but not work-less

My company isn't doing so hot, so this Monday morning we three employees were told cuts in hours were to be made, effective immediately. Fortunately, for me, this means a 32 hour work week at the same pay rate, keeping my benefits (which may or may not be necessary), and potentially an extra day of my week devoted to the personal time I value so dearly.

This isn't necessarily permanent (my boss explained this change should only last 2 or 3 months, until seasonal work picks back up); but without having consulted our budget, it could prove to be a great situation for our family. A day I could devote to being Daddy Daycare; a day less of paying some stranger to watch our kid; a day less of wage earning to pay for some stranger to watch our kid, thus helping to balance this change in our income....

Not sure what will come of it, exactly, but for now the mood is very positive! Good life go!

As they say: To be continued...

Work less, not work-less

So, to make a long explanation, well, nonexistent, I'll say that my company has been forced to cut hours across the board, at least temporarily. Fortunately for me my employers opted for less hours than less pay per hour--the latter choice would have sent me into blind rage.

To be honest, this could work out very well for me. I'm only missing one day a week and able to keep my benefits, which I might not even need after the baby is born. I get a day off which will be devoted to my personal life which, you know by now, is much more valuable to me than the wage I make. It is supposed to be a temporary situation, but I have already posited that the new schedule could be beneficial to me as a permanent solution in that it could mitigate the cost of daycare once our baby is born. Instead of working to pay for daycare, I'd be daycare for at least a day... Not sure if my boss will buy into it once finances start picking back up, but I think I'll be sticking by that option.

Anyway, I'm not stressed, just a little weirded out, if not partially relieved that something really bad was avoided...

February 7, 2010

Names, Art, More Prep

This weekend: finished a little bit more art that will go in your room, Baby. Also, added more items to the registry at Babies "R" Us; and started looking at Italian and Polish girl names (and found a bunch I like!)...

Also, your Aunt Amanda and Uncle Andy came up to visit from Cincy. We gave them our bed and Mommy and I "slept" on the futon in what will be your room. It was probably because of all the white snow reflecting light, but it was bright as day all night long. Today I installed some nice white blinds in your room and am pretty proud of how they turned out.

Lots of love!

February 4, 2010


Baby School + Baby School of Rock

Yesterday, after a long time of procrastinating on making a decision, I called the "Moms" hotline at our hospital to reserve our spot in an upcoming "labor and birth class." I'm pretty pumped about it--I do well with instruction; C isn't so pumped. For that reason we chose the 2-day Express option for next week. I told her it's my Valentine's Day gift to her. I keed. But I am excited, and I think it will be a good milestone to add to this journey. I was a little weird-ed out when the telephone operator (nurse?) suggested that we were scheduling our class a bit early relative to our due-date and that we could forget stuff... WTF? I'll make sure to write my notes down.

Also, last night I finally busted out some big ol' headphones and grabbed my iPod and, while C was engaged with Cougar Town on the couch, I pumped some jams into her belly. C got first pick: Passion Pit's Little Secrets (one of her recent favorites); for sentimental reasons I opted for Come Away With Me by Norah Jones (the first dance at our wedding); C got impatient at this point and allowed one more song--my choice again: Sizzla's Praise Ye Jah which I'm sure really got Baby inspired...

I hope to keep this as a pretty regular occurrence. I have lots of music that I'd love Baby to hear...

February 1, 2010


Maybe this is cool?

"Alphabet City: Out on the Streets" a board book by M. De Feo

Nameless + aches, house

We are really struggling to come up with a name for you, Baby.

Trying to find one with a good meaning, maybe something that is derived from a family member, something that fits with our last name...

At one point we started straying from names to nouns, but hopefully soon we'll find something we just love. Even if it's a noun.


C has been feeling good, generally. Foot aches, waking up multiple times in the night, frequent need to pee, other back and joint aches... all add up to be pretty exhausting. She has to deal with a lot over the course of a day, so piles of dirty dishes, laundry, messes in the kitchen, unfinished projects around the house all seem pretty overwhelming and depressing. Lately, I've made it my first priority to make sure a dish doesn't sit in or around the sink for more than 24 hours. I especially try to get every dish done right after dinner. I think it's helping.