Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick Story...

...before I forget.

The other day Alex and Abby and I were driving downtown for some reason. We were cruising along Huron in the right lane and were approaching stalled traffic in the left lane (waiting for someone to turn left). Some bozo from the left lane decided to cut around the stalled traffic and jumped right in front of us from nearly a standstill. Alex slammed on the brakes and laid on the horn. Both of us were up in the front mumbling about idiots when we heard a little diminutive voice in the back seat say "Beep beep!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We and our dear Ann Arbor friends are trying to start a tradition whereby we all gather together in the fall months, coalescing at a cabin somewhere in the Norther-woods of Michigan. We have successfully executed this tradition for two years now. I have my doubts about whether Alex, Abby, and I will be invited in the future. But I'll save that story for the end.

If you recall, last year we went to the fabled Upper Peninsula, where we had heard the trees were brighter, the lakes deeper, and the hills hillier. It was quite beautiful, but it was a hell of a drive--over 7 hours. For a two day weekend trip in the middle of a busy semester, we all decided that was a little much. So this time we reserved a cabin near Cross Village at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula.

As a side note, our cabin choice is mostly constrained by whether or not the owners allow dogs. All of us have dogs. And since all of us want to go to the cabin, that means no dog-sitters left in Ann Arbor. Usually the owners end up saying "Ok, you can have one or two small-to-medium sized dogs." In turn, we usually don't tell them that in fact we have 10 small-to-Ella sized dogs.

Anyhow, we headed up on a Thursday night. We all arrived in staggered succession, stopping to grab a beer from the fridge on our way in to the living room of the cabin, where there was a roaring fire. The cabin itself was really great. It had three true bedrooms (with doors), one with two double beds and one twin bed, and two with a queen bed apiece. Then there was one open loft area with two twin beds.

The plan was for Alex, Abby and I to share the room with Brian, Heather, and Rowan. We figured that since we had camped next to each other without any problems with the babies waking each other up that it would certainly work in a bedroom. And, really, it did, but it was much more stressful for everyone than expected. It's one thing if your baby wakes you up, but it's a whole different guilt level if she wakes up another baby. So I slept on pins and needles, jumping out of bed at the slightest cough from Abby, ready to soothe her back to sleep without crying (please, oh, please!). Like I said, for the most part, it worked fine--I'm sure I was over-sensitive to the possibility of Abby waking Rowan up.

The cabin we chose was located about 200 yards from the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It was fantastic. The weather on Friday was windy, and oscillated between gray and rainy, and sunny but stormy. I couldn't believe how much the lake resembled the ocean on that day. The dogs had a blast running around free on the sand. Abby built a few sandcastles and dabbled in the water a little bit. That afternoon we drove to Harbor Springs through the famous Tunnel of Trees. I have to admit I fell asleep on the drive, so don't have much to say about the Tunnel. But I did run through half of it later in the weekend and that half was really pretty.

Saturday was also stormy, but a bit sunnier. We ate, napped, and relaxed some more. Later in the afternoon we took a trip to Wilderness State Park, about 10 miles north of our cabin on Sturgeon Bay. There we hooked up with the North Country Trail. You may recall that Heather and I ran our trail marathon on part of the North Country Trail, but a bit further south.

Sunday was the best weather of the weekend. Beautiful blue, clear fall skies and 65 degree temperatures. Heather and I celebrated the weather by running 22 miles. It was so much fun to run through different country, and at one point I even felt like we were in the mountains! That afternoon, while Abby napped, I sat on the beach with the dogs and a beer, soaking in the sun. It was fantastic.

This leads us to Sunday night. It started off well enough. Abby went to sleep at 8:30 as usual. Rowan joined her around 10, and I joined them all around 11:30. Alex had decided he didn't want the stress of sleeping next to me, since I was continually waking up and telling him to stop moving, so had settled on the couch downstairs with all the dogs and Mike (who didn't want to disturb Tory with his heavy snoring). At about midnight, Abby started coughing. She would cry a little bit after every cough. After a half hour of this, she stood up and started getting serious. So I grabbed her and put her in bed with me. She couldn't settle down. Coughing and just restless. After a half hour of that, I decided Tylenol was in order. I went downstairs and we doped her up. Back to bed then. But she was even more awake from the trip downstairs, and was crying when I tried to lay her down. I heard Rowan stir now and then and started to worry. So I moved downstairs with her, right next to Mandy and Bobby's room, in the middle of Mikes room. She was now worked up pretty good, screaming and screaming. Trying to get up and then screaming some more. Clearly we were keeping people awake. But what could I do? So, finally at 2:40, I collected my blankets and Abby and I moved to the van. Van seats suck to sleep in. And it is cold at night these days. But Abby slept on and off, and at least she didn't wake anyone up (I was awake the whole time, how could she wake me up?). We went back in to the cabin at 7:30 to find Rowan up and about. Heather gave me a surprised look and said "I brought Rowan down because I didn't want to wake Abby up!"

And that's why we might not get invited back next year.

Did I mention the sunsets were beautiful?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Curly or Straight?

We've been wondering for some time now whether Abby's hair is curly or straight. It's really straight on top, but more often than not the back curls. Is it because of her funny mullet? Does it rest just right on her collar so that it curls? Or does she have daddy's hair? I guess we won't know for sure until she grows some more of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010


One of the best things about being a parent is that I can marvel at all the awesome things that I, as an adult, am able to do. I never really thought I was that amazing, but everything I do is pretty much incredible. For example, I can handle a spoon without even thinking twice. I don't even have to look at it in order to get it to my mouth. And I can jump. Can you believe it? I can get BOTH feet off the ground at the SAME time! And words just flow out of my mouth without any effort at all. I even talk in my sleep it's so easy.

But enough about me. I thought now would be a good time to record Abby's progress on the talking front. She's by no means fluent yet, but she's got lots to say. As you read this list you may note that certain "words" have multiple meanings. Yes, this causes confusion sometimes. However, Abby can usually sort it out by pointing, screaming, and performing elaborate charades.

wawa = water
wa = walk, or wash
mama = mom, or I'm really pissed off right now
dada = dad
eya = Ella
sho = shower
bye! = bye!
dah = doggie
kit = kitty
whay = whale
fo = phone
ska = sky
pee pee= pee pee, pea, or pasta
ee = eat
gogo = yogurt
chee = cheese
bo = bowl, ball, or block
bi = bike
no no no no no no no = no, absolutely not.
no = nose
ca = car or truck (I think truck is more like ka though)
ha = hot
bee = bib, beer, or bee
pa = pants

And of course she knows lots of animal sounds:

Kitty (which is sometimes "kitty kitty kitty!" and sometimes "meeeeooooooowwwwww")
Owl (which sounds suspiciously like the monkey)

She probably has a lot more words than this, but I'm either too dense to understand them or too old to remember them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

5 years!

Alex and I have been married for 5 years (and 6 days now). 5 years is a significant milestone.

When you go to an interview, they ask you where you see yourself in 5 years.
There's a David Bowie song called 5 years.
Google and AOL expanded their partnership for 5 years today.
In 5 (light) years you could reach Alpha Centauri.
Some people (not me) finish their PhD in 5 years.
A 5 year old can count 10 or more objects.

See? Pretty big milestone.

But in all seriousness, a lot can happen in 5 years, and I'm happy to report that the majority of our last five have been filled with laughs, adventure, fun, and now Abby, who is laughs, adventure, and fun all rolled into one.

Here's to another 5 to come.