Thursday, January 31, 2008

End-of-month bouillabaisse

I realized that it's the end of January and I've posted exactly once this month. Not very good, even by my low standards. So here's a grab-bag review, including things you may have already heard me say in a different setting:

Sports - I want the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. They've gone 18-0, which no one has done before, but it "won't count" if they lose the Super Bowl. So I'd like them to win for their sake, and for my peevish reason: I want to not see Don Shula or any other 1972 Dolphin trotted out the next time an NFL team starts their season X-and-0 (X >= 8). Every time I've seen those guys comment on the latest good team, they've always come across as very petty, refusing to acknowledge that another team in football history might be good, too.

Politics - McCain is doing well: yay. Edward, Giuliani, and Thompson are out: yay.

Economy - It looks like the housing market and the broader credit cycle are both turning and will take at least a couple of years to shake out. If that's right, then the main effect of the proposed fiscal stimulus package will be to shift spending from 2009 to 2008, worsening the economy in 2009. I read an article recently speculating that, given the bi-partisan support for the stimulus,
Republicans and Democrats each must think the other is going to win the White House and wants to leave an extra mess for the new president.

History - - Major international conflicts from World War II to the present day, presented in stop-action animation of nationalistic food. Hamburger = US, croissants = France, etc.

Owen - The young gentleman is ever more mobile, able to scootch in all directions on his tummy. But we're still in that blessed time when we can set him down, leave the room for a minute, and know that he'll still be there when we come back.

I still speculate that O may go straight to walking. He loves being upright, the higher the better. While he's comfortable on his stomach, it doesn't seem to be the direction he really wants to go.

He's made it through all the entry-level vegetables, with only green beans causing hate and gagging. (But even they were OK when mixed with cereal.) Now he's into the fruits: bananas were great; apples are good, even if they do occasionally cause an incredibly cute sour face. Continuing the Hulk theme (sort of), Owen will occasionally pause eating to stick his arms straight out, turn his face red, and grunt. Like a red, infant Incredible Hulk. ("You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry.") He doesn't seem unhappy; it's just something he does. (I know, you're thinking, "Umm, hello, he's pooping." Not so. Whenever he makes faces and noises that make you think, "Relax, kid. Here, have a prune," there's nothing. The action in the back section is always stealthy.)

Owen's vocalization is still almost all vowels, though he's added some very spitty raspberries/motorboats to the mix in the past month. (The spittiness is no doubt is related to him cutting his first tooth.) He's got a great laugh. The main mode is to open his mouth wide in a huge smile and say "ha ha ha", but without the h's - almost panting. When he gets really excited (eg, tickling, being swung up and down), the panting morphs into a loud, staccato "gha gha gha", or maybe "!a !a !a". However you write it, it's big fun.

OK, now I'm a better correspondent. (See you February 29.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tempus fugiting

Any number of times before Owen was born, I heard parents say, "I can't believe how fast the time goes." For the first six months of Owen's life, I have mainly wondered what they were talking about, as it has been the busiest, most tiring, fullest time I have experienced. The time does not go fast. I'm not suggesting time drags because it was awful or boring. I just don't feel like, "Hey, where did that week go?" Instead, last week generally feels like last month.

However, I've recently had my first two glimpses of parental time flight.

1) Now past Owen's six-month birthday, I realize he's closer to being a toddler than being a newborn. Though there is still a lot to come, it's now clear that there is a finite amount of baby-ness (eg, holding him and giving him a bottle) left.

2) Kerry's parents visited over Christmas, and we then saw them in Arizona nine days later. They commented that Owen had changed, but said that we wouldn't see it, because we saw him every day. With all due respect to Mimi and Pawpaw, I thought they were nuts. But I was just apart from Owen for five days, the longest time I've been away from him yet, and he has changed. His face is less round, he's using his legs to scoot around on his tummy, he's shrieking (with joy to see me, I assert), he's starting to cry like a child instead of a baby... a lot happened while I wasn't looking.