a good time was had by all

So I'm sweating slash running on very little sleep, but I just wanted to post about our rad, rad weekend. It was action packed indeed. It all started when a shadowy figure cloaked in brown plunked a very large box containing odd warning messages onto our front stoop. Come to find out the shadowy figure was the UPS dude and the packaged warnings were on account of dry ice: said package contained foooood in the form of breadz and cookies and a coffee cake. We had carbfest 2008 this weekend. All's that's left is one frozen loaf o' multigrain. Thanks for the awesome eats, Nick & Ann! Then another shadowy figure appeared on our doorstep. This time it was the special features editor for Channel 2 News, hand-delivering the DVD transcripts of our time in the spotlight. Below, witness the young family's stunned reaction upon learning of dangerous levels of lead in their dinnerware! Actually, it was funny to finally see the clip--an inordinately high number of folks have mentioned seeing us on the TV saince said clip aired.
Another 15 minutes, more shadowy figures, only these ones actually crossed the threshold and stayed for a few days. Below, Ro gets acquainted with Auntie Alyssa. He really liked Alyssa! She really has a way with the wee gents!
It might appear that we spent a solemn set of days, but looks can be deceiving.
Alyssa made several delightful concoctions with sliced strawberries (we bought a ton o berries at the farmers' market). We did a strawberry-garnished lemon tart and a chocolate cake. Of course we had to find some way to add mass quantities of sugar to an already-sweet food.
Contrary to popular belief, Maddy, aka AGMs, was not high the whole time. She was just delirious from getting beat up! Against her better judgment, she spent plenty of quality time with various babies, human and furry, and even liked it!
Speaking of liking, my cake was pretty awesome. Chartreuse with a sea turtle theme, oh yeah! I was very sad to see Alyssa & AGMs go and had to rush out of the airport after escorting them to security to avoid a tearful scene.
This evening after I returned from work, we enjoyed a family walk. Sadly, Mercer got waylaid and collapsed on Owl Creek Bridge. That was not so enjoyable.
Yo, happy one day before your birthday, Mister Canada.


home alone vs. mr mom

vs your favorite outmoded cultural signpost.

We've actually met several stay-at-home dads at the park and around the neighborhood. Is it a trend? Is it just our neighborhood?

Anyway, Liz went back to work last Monday so me and Rowan are flying solo. Being with Rowan all day makes me feel guilty about not donating to public radio during their most recent fund drive--it's all I listen to.

More importantly, it's great to see Rowan's repertoire of interests and skills increase. He loves to follow Leon around and try to bat at him. Watching a nearly-3-mo-old boy try to figure out how to reach out and grab a triple-amputee stuffed lion of many colors is, I have to say, really rewarding. Yesterday I witnessed a gurgle-and-cooed conversation between Rowan and Davidson Bear, a stuffed white bear in a red t-shirt that reads "Davidson" (courtesy of the Jim Watkins). Ro grabbed Davidson by the scruff of his belly and said "ooOOoAgg--eeeeuup. ooooooooo...." D.Bear just let the wind respond, knowing Ro would understand.
As I said, Liz has returned to work and is already bringing back lots of interesting/hilarious stories from the life of the cube.

Here she is posing with her mechanical wonder, the breast pump. As you can see in the background, we now have a "family" dry-erase board, on which we've graphed out a crude calendar, to keep track of appointments and scheduling conflicts thereby.

(Note: After a rather long hiatus, Rowan has returned to his bouncy seat, and is now, after only a few weeks, vastly more equipped to enjoy the orange plastic monkeys and blue plastic toucans)

I wasn't all alone this week. For the first few days I had the invaluable aid of UncleT, who discovered the "rollin' Rowan" technique (you grab Rowan's arms and gently roll him back and forth), and was generally lovely to have around.

Also, he brought candy, and we ate too much candy.

Enough talk! Look at this dashing figure.


cheap sunglasses

Some people say that not everyone is nice. But at the Greensboro Bicentennial Parade, most everyone was. Liz has a braid in her hair. That=nice.

There were clowns...dalmatians...

old tyme vehicles drawn by horses...

and a number of marching bands / color guards...

sometime during the parade, Liz gained the ability to make her thoughts come to life and a giant cake appeared. Thirty were injured in the feeding frenzy.

Then we hurried home so that Ro could do a shoot for American Apparel...

He was jolly. We all were...

and then, we discovered that Ro has been able to fly all along!


the living is easy

It's been exciting times at the pillow fort. It's basically summertime here in Gboro, and Liz and I have been taking advantage of the weather.

We went downtown yesterday and saw an exhibition of portraits by NC artists. Lots of the work was pretty cool. As we were walking back to the car we noticed this stylish Obama sticker. Politics is pretty marketable these days. Exhibit 1

We went to a coffeeshop downtown and I discovered something called a "red latte"--it's made of that redbush roobios tea and milk (like a latte). Pretty tasty. Notice, too, how casually we throw words like "revolution" around. Ah, marketing!

Speaking of tasty, here we are at the zoo. Rowan got hungry and ate the tastiest thing available--mama's wrist.

We tried out our awesome B-O-B stroller for the first time and Rowan took to it pretty well. We hung his first good friend up so he would have someone to commiserate with. Leon (the, of course, lion) is generally lots of fun. He swoops in and surprises Rowan with his dexterity and capacity for flight. Rowan has begun groping toward hand-eye coordination and swings at Leon, trying to grab him. It's really gratifying to see Rowan reacting to toys and trying to hone his brand-new skills. I should also mention that Leon is a double-amputee. Two of his legs were gnawed off by wild tabbies.

Rowan likes to get down with tummy fun and usually is ready to go when he wakes up in the morning (6:30ish). He does some smiling, then a few reps of tummy time, then some work with his new toys.

Q: What time is it?
A: Summertime.



We have been graced as of late by many assorted and sundry visitors. Saturday brought Grandma and Grandpa S. and Aunt Hannah. While the rest of the crew took a stroll around the 'hood, Grandpa helped (and by helped I mean he did 100% of the work) us with the installation of a number of seeds and wee plants into the soil outside. Umm, what am I talking about? I am obviously a little sleepy. I mean, he planted us a summertime addition to our spring garden: tomatoes, zukes, peppers, etc. Right after the departure of the Farmville crew, a new group arrived, this one all the way from Florida! Mercer's aunt, cousin and said cousin's husband and baby drove up from Charlotte (where they were staying for the weekend). Their baby, Mason, was adorable and quite intrigued when faced with a creature tinier than he, as evidenced below. He reminded Mercer and me that we need to start thinking about transforming our house into a more baby-friendly place, and by baby-friendly I mean a place that will attempt to preclude major baby bodily injury.
Today we woke up and decided to go to the zoo. We fortified ourselves with some nourishing light fare (Mercer got chicken fried steak, hash browns, eggs, and toast, and I got the Southern Smother, which sounds like a wrestling move but actually entails drenching two biscuits in hash browns, gravy, bacon, and cheese, thus providing an only slightly slower death than an actual smothering). Everyone else in the Huddle House was headed to the Harley Museum, which is also in Asheboro. Also, I periodically forget you can smoke indoors in NC. Anyhoo, the zoo trip marked the inaugural voyage of Ro's stroller. We have heretofore been using only slings and such, but I wasn't sure if my back could take 5 hours. He took to it pretty well, but seemed shocked by all the space it afforded. We saw:

Nicolas Sarkozy and Tinkerbell (j/k, that's just le flash, because apparently I forgot how to take pictures), Tony Blair,
and Mahmoud Abbas and a few of his cabinet members.
Above is a picture of us leaving. You can't tell we're leaving, but that's what we're doing. Ro is chomping. On the drive back, we got to initiate the first of no doubt many end of a family excursion-type conversations: what was your favorite part of the trip?
Peace out!


cookies for breakfast, cookies for lunch

We have been spending increasing amounts of time outside of the pillow fort as of late, as weather has befitted a southern spring. Mercer grades his students' final papers at our outdoor table, pausing every once in a while to inspire laughter and lounge on the blanket with Ro and me. Despite the good times, Mercer is still a tough grader. I have to advocate for his students. No grade inflation going on here!
Ro has discovered sleep these past few days. Yesterday he initiated napfest 2008 just a few hours after waking up. He napped as we took a long walk in the afternoon. And then he napped for much of the time we ate dinner. Finally, he slept from 9:30 last night 'til 6 this morning. While I have spent several months wishing for such a night, it strikes me as a little disconcerting. Last week he was waking up every hour and a half throughout the night and barely ever napping. So why all the sudden sleeping? I'm hoping it's just a marker of a growth spurt. Isn't that what teenage boys do, sleep 13 hours a night and eat, like, 5000 calories a day? That's what my brother did, at least. Even if I am a little worried, it was pretty great getting all that semi-uninterrupted sleep.

Yesterday, as we were awash in grading (Mercer), napping (Rowan), and doing who-knows-what (me), a package arrived at out front door! Said package was obviously from someone who knows us well, as it contained multiple packages of deeeee-licious cookies! It also contained a number of those festive party blower things that often accompany a child's birthday party or a New Year's shindig. Rowan really enjoyed gripping said blowy diggie, as evidenced below.

The cookies hovered behind us, awaiting devourment! Thanks, Andrea & Keith & Doov (especially for coordinating all the way from SWITZERLAND)! We're plowing through 'em. Being made with whole wheat flour and all, they're perfectly healthy breakfast fare.
At least one of us still grapples with veggies from time to time.


Primary Day!

Here we have a rare snapshot of the Southern redpants mama scooting among school buses. It's May 6, and we in the pillow fort are celebrating two events:

the two month birthday of Rowan Emil (!!)
and that glorious process properly revered in our republic, the NC Democratic primary.

Our polling place is the local high school, and we went and voted on these machines. There's a touch screen and then a paper record is made and kept as well, I guess for backup. I heard a piece about voting state-to-state on the radio the other day and it seems a by-product of the fiasco in Florida in 2000 is that FLA is now one of the harder states in which to vote: more red tape, technicalities, etc.

Since it was only a couple blocks, we packed up the boy and walked over. It's summer already--80ish degrees, and we've been hitting the grill pretty hard. Sweet potatoes and veg, as well as ribs and wings. We had four generations of Bufters/Sedgwick-Bufters in the fort this weekend. (For some reason, all of the pictures are on my Grandmom's camera so you'll have to take my word for it.)

We had a fun visit, as always. Liz and I surprised my folks by taking them to look at houses. We're thinking of buying a home (eep!) and saw lots of places over the weekend. So much to do, so much to do.

I also received one of my pubs in the mail, in this magazine. Very exciting.

It turns out that babies aren't as whole-heartedly behind American representative democracy as you would guess. Rowan loudly protested, calling for a fairer system of proportional representation, campaign finance reform, and a stop to pointless questions and red herrings.

As Charles Gibson said: "If it was good enough in colonial times, why not in these times." Talk about coffin nails.

Meanwhile, Auden usurps Rowan's tummy-fun pillow, mistaking it for some sort of beach dune beneath a bulbous blue sun.

Rowan and I have matching boots...so...as you can see...yes, Liz and I have succumbed to that time-tried parenting fallacy: "The baby has preferences about clothes, and his preferences happen to be exactly the same as ours." Hence, Rowan and I have matching boots.

There are, of course, offenses many times more egregious than ours to be rooted out.

All in all, it's been a pretty cool 1/6th b-day.


come on feel the noise

well, rowan and i are most of the way through our second ever boys of rock and roll, no-mamas allowed afternoon. yesterday was day 1 and i'll be honest--it was pretty rough. it was rowan's first time trying to use a bottle (liz has been pumping industriously) so there were some sad faces. sad faces and lots of screaming.

however, today has been much easier. ro took a nap after mama left for her meeting, and woke up predictably hungry. it was touch-and-go for awhile, but warming the bottle up, changing feeding rooms, and positions seemed to help. he ate enough to spit up, so i marked it down as a win. we listened to the pod and danced when rowan was fussy--pavement's "range life" was well-received. the beastie boys were not.

i've put in my notice at the buckaroo, and i'll be looking to freelance it and hold down the fort while liz fights syphilis. liz met a stay-at-home dad in the park the other day--he's some sort of teacher who does private tutoring and primary-caregives. maybe we can make baby-people friends with he and his wife. we also recently discovered a walkersvillain living in our neighborhood, kim o, who was right between me and my brother in high school.

...and now liz has gotten home, so rowie gets a real meal.