Archive | December, 2011

2012 Theme and 12 for ’12

30 Dec

Working, working on it. I think, after careful discussion with wife and co-conspirator AP, that 2012 is going to be the Year of Doing My Best Work. Or at least trying hard to do more of my best work. I have in mind some version of being present in the present, and of trying to actually give my full faith and effort to the work that I’m doing. Of course, 2012 is going to be the year of starting new stuff (work in particular), and BB’s second year, so there are specifics to worry over. But if not ‘best’ work, at least trying harder to do better work, sweat the details, stop dropping the ball, and just being mindful about doing the best I can under the circumstances, that would make 2012 awesome. Plus, it’s one of those things that, even if I fall short, better is better.

As far as 12 for ’12, I want to try a project list, a la 2011’s project list. I have some of the same energies for this as I did in this year, but some things (like the board book) seem to have lost some appeal for me along the way. Making baby food seemed more interesting last year than now, but Sunday Dinners or some regular family meal sounds a lot more interesting now than it did last year. Also, more family recipes to make, so far I’ve ended 2011 with Grandma Sylvia’s matzo ball soup and brisket, and both turned out quite well. I’m going to try to do more of that in the coming year.

Have a great New Year’s eve, and more importantly, a wonderful 2012. We have a lot of love to share, and we know exactly where it goes – to each other, to baby, and to you.

Oh, and I almost forgot. From Kung-Fu Panda:


A dozen for 2011 – an update

15 Dec

A while back (say, February), I posted a dozen for 2011, 12 projects I was hoping to accomplish during the year. It’s time to see how I made out.

1. Happy Birth Day – make birthday announcements. Status: DONE!

2. Baby B Board Books – make homemade board books for Baby, with Illustrator. Status: Bought the blank books, story-boarded out a couple of stories, made three illustrations, haven’t picked it up since.

3. Dashboard – make a personal development dashboard. Status: Bought a Fitbit and used it intermittently throughout the year. Kept no data on baby. Began to code a page which would mash-up a Google Maps and my fitbit data, to show a constantly-updated map of my walking mileage running between NYC and LA (like this, but with a person instead of car, and the route automatically updated). Got maybe 5-10% of the way done.

4. Sound Check – Archive the baby’s voice. Status: Did this pretty well, to about 6 months. Have video, but no systematic archive of sounds for the last 6 months or so. Enjoyed walking around with giant headphones and a big high-quality recorder for a while though.

5. Resource Party – Have a party, inviting various friends to share expertise. Status: Total fail. Untried at all.

6. 40th Birthday Walkback – Do a memory-lane, manual-typewriter-typed birthday present for my two closest friends. Status: 1/2, hit on one, missed on the other.

7. Sell, Baby, Sell! – Sell something on Etsy. Status: Originally planned to sell mandel bread or chocolate chip cookies, but selling food is actually something that needs to be licensed (though some don’t). Made a shitload of baked goods to test out recipe and brainstorm about marketing. Ultimately failed to post/sell a damn thing. Anyone wanna buy a dozen chocolate chip cookies? I’ll do it for $30/dozen. I’ll even throw in an extra.

8. POTD – Picture of the Day, a photo a day of the baby. Status: With help from my spouse, this project is just about complete. We need to backfill a bunch of photos from the end of November/beginning of December, but we’re pretty close to done. Going to call it a win. Let me know if you need the URL to access this.

9. Pull it Together, Man – Pull IDs from various social media. Status: I think I’m pretty far along here, surprisingly. I’ve mostly given up on Twitter, I have a kinda working FB strategy (I post, but almost always delete stuff from my own wall). Have domain names reserved for a switch down the road, feeling not complete but pretty accomplished about this.

10. They Write Letters – write 100 letters. Status: Probably wrote 25 letters all year. 3/4 fail.

11. Artsy Wall – hang a photo wall in the house. Status: It’s not pretty, it’s not professional, but it’s there. With some luck and a good eye from my partner, this should continue to grow. There is also a little wedge frame with baby’s cast on it, which makes it even better. Win.

12. Run, Fat Boy, Run – Get in shape. Status: Gained 10-15 pounds since baby was born. Wife lost like 30 pounds during the same interval. Screw you.

And there you have it. I’m thinking about themes for 2012. Ideas are welcome.

Photo wall

13 Dec

20111213-180552.jpg I also didn’t mention how much I liked the photo banner that baby mama put together. Though I somehow ended up being surprised that baby looks so similar across a year. In videos he looks much different.

Anyhow, crafty mama!

Birthday party

13 Dec


Partner and I generally disagree a bit on the value and necessity of birthday parties (me: smaller or not at all; her: as big as we can handle, with touches of class), but in this case she was right and I was wrong. If everyone we invited came, possibly it would have been too many (certainly more crowded. But you know, never too many). In the end, the final count was perfect. We missed our friends who couldn’t make it, though.

It was a low-key affair, the highlight of which was the Brooklyn Blackout cake. Baby mashed it up but good. The rest of us were a bit more dainty (though I caught E late at night raiding the fridge naked and wearing chocolate down her chin like a hyena ripping through a wildebeest. Or maybe I dreamed that last bit).

I don’t know how we’ll manage with bigger kids, in winter so that an easy outdoor affair is harder, but I’m sure we’ll manage. Surprisingly, we thrive on chaos. Or at least it doesn’t faze us. I even got to make goodie bags, for kids and adults (and we’re $5 ahead in scratchy lottery winnings!).

So happy birthday baby boy. We love you and hope to keep you around for a while!

Birthday Boy

12 Dec

So we had a little birthday party for our BB this past Sunday. A few friends, some cake, and a happy baby. Well, mostly happy. He seemed at times to be more interested in doing his ‘normal things’ – opening/closing doors, playing with books, pulling at the printer – than playing with the other kids who were over. But still, the smashy-cake did its job. And mama was happy that baby’s first experience with cake was a Brooklyn Blackout cake.

As for me, I’m breathing something of a sigh of relief over the first year. I’ve been a little obsessed with death this year, thinking that our baby would actually succumb to one childhood dramatic form of mortality or another. The infant mortality rate in the US is pretty good (6.06 deaths per 1,000 in 2010, and even this is probably a bit lower for White, insured, educated, etc. parents). If you look at mortality tables (e.g., here’s a .pdf report from 2006), deaths per 100,000 drop from 6.71 from ages 0-1, to .44 from ages 1-2. So, really you are dodging something of a bullet if your baby makes it to one year old.

I don’t know how I ended up so much about death again. The point is that this dismal cloud is lifting for me, as we move on past year one. Plus, there’s so much more fun stuff to talk about than shitty bad stuff. I’m going to try to do a lot more of that in the coming days/weeks/months.