Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day at the Dentist

Its October 29th and there is snow outside. October... October! We rarely have a white Christmas never mind a slushy Halloween. I for one can not recall a single picture or depiction of Halloween with snow. Well at least I know what Manya can be for her first Halloween. She'll be the younger brother in "A Christmas Story" - the one who is so bundled up for winter that when he falls over he can't get back up.

I for one will be utilizing my freedom of Democracy and writing to my Congressman to officially make October 29th "F.U. Al Gore Day". He should donate the billions he made from his global warming talks, movies and books to charity. He made us all think we'd never see snow again and have 120 degree summer days. Once again, its October and there is snow everywhere! At least he gave us the Internet. Thank you Grizzly Adams.

Yesterday Manya took her first trip to the dentist. No, she doesn't have any teeth and none are trying to poke through yet. But Sarah and I needed to go and Sarah scheduled us for appointments at 11:30 and 12:30. We are still fumbling with the intricacies of readying ourselves for specific appointments, now with the added bonus of a youngin' we are more often than not hopelessly behind any morning appointments. Miraculously we arrived at our Dental appointment at Amazing Smiles (yes, I know, horrible name for a Dental Practice) two minutes late.

Sarah jogged in first to log us in and fill out the paperwork. I grabbed the car seat and fusspot from the back seat and entered Dr. Pak's Pediatric Dentistry. Wait, what? Dr. Pak's what? The office we entered more resembled a playground than a practice and blew out my retinas with a striking combination of bright lights, bold colors and dizzying patterns. Chairs lined the walls and I was humbled by the faint aroma of bleach and flatulence. I must have froze in the doorway as Sarah waved me in just as she was whisked away into one of the rooms, possibly themed in Winnie the Pooh or Dora the Explorer characters.

Sarah was going in to get her teeth cleaned. She walked into the room. The dentist followed.

Dentist: I don't seem to have your resume did you bring an extra one?
Sarah: What? I'm here to get my teeth cleaned.
Dentist: Oh, you're not here for an interview?
Sarah: No, I checked in at the front desk after I called and made an appointment.
Dentist: Oh, my assistant will take care of you.
Assistant: This is Dr. Hykofsky.
Sarah: No, Dr. Hykofsky is my dentist who I made the appointment with.

Blank Stares.

Sarah comes out and escorts Manya and I out of the Romper-Room.

Mind you Sarah was wearing a snowboarding top, yoga pants and cowboy boots. Excellent interview attire.

Five minutes and a phone call later we learned that our Dentist decided to move without telling us (only two miles away on the same road). Cue the Abbot and Costello music as we shoot over.

Fast forward ten minutes as we enter a horribly corporate building with no personality and the unusually vile faint aroma of curry being expressed through the pores of the many employees traversing the austere second floor. Oh look, a dentist office, how quaint. Here fill out this stack of paperwork. There's two of you? Fill it out a second time.

Thoroughly disinterested in the massive quantity of paperwork left to do after diligently scribbling some possibly incorrect semblance of Sarah's insurance, my mind and gaze began to wander. It may have been a case of the ever-so-popular ADHD affliction, or the dull ache in my anemic flanges. Dear god man no one writes with pens anymore, that's what texting and typing is for! Will this indentation on my knuckle cause a callus? Is it ironic that you have a giant poster that says No Cell Phones and then a second poster that says Turn Off All Cell Phones!

Ring Ring Ring

Shit. Sorry. Time to duck out of the office.

Oh god - Curry BO stench - The Horror!

Hello? Oh its just my brother calling to say that someone robbed the neighbors car last night. Like thiefs in Dan Akroyd movie or thugs in the Bronx in the early 80s they stole all four tires off the VW in their driveway. (side note: there were 2 BMWs in the driveway and a BMW next door untouched) They opened my mother's Volvo trunk to borrow her jack and spare tire to prop up the VW's underbelly while they casually lifted the four tires. Some facts. The VW belonged to the new driver of the house, a 17 year old kid. He spent the last 6 months making expensive modifications to the vehicle. Three BMWs within 30 feet. Not touched. In my humble opinion, the young man was the victim of a targeted attack by someone he knows. Bet the police have no idea. Time to call the night watch or Benson and Stabler.

Back to the dentist. Wait, we've been here 40 minutes and nothing? Weren't we 10-15 minutes late to begin with?


The fire alarm literally drops everyone's heart three inches and I slam my hands earmuff style on our poor two month old innocent.


Sarah and I flee to the curry corridor. Sarah - coat and baby - check. David - car seat, bags, coats, blankets, phones, keys, 17 other things - check.

One quick glance, eye contact, a nod, the car was packed and we were gone. And by gone I mean slowly weaving our way through the parking lot ocean of legions of amaurotic daydreaming South Indians. On the way home we saw three fire trucks driving to opposite direction.

Good Note: I still have never had a cavity.

Later that evening we took Manya to her first Halloween Party. Pictures below.

First Halloween!

Nanni Nanni Poo Poo!

Baby sleeping on GrandPa

Too Cute!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Vertigo is at first thought a masterfully crafted film by the genius filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. It's gorgeous cinematography trick which superbly defines the sensation through visual movement has been copied and regurgitated to death in recent years. Seldom is the camera trick used in a unique or stimulating way that doesn't immediately demand an collective audience groan. Although the term Vertigo may hold a preconceived reaction, nothing can prepare you for the unusually unnerving experience of the sensation.

Several nights ago after feasting on a particularly heavy amount of Chinese food I fell into an unusual food coma. I tend to drop into food comas after eating massive quantities of heavy food but rarely am I able to get to that point on Chinese food. Sarah's in laws were in town and the array of food I bought for dinner was borderline obscene. An hour and a half later I was glassy eyed on my swivel chair in front of the Television aimlessly staring at a particularly puerile episode of The Sing Off (a singing competition between groups who sing entirely A Capella) when I realized the whole room was spinning.

I felt unsettled and in a way intoxicated. I couldn't focus on a target or prevent the peripheral world from tipping in and out, rolling center of my consciousness back and forth uncontrollably. At first it was mildly entertaining as it chopped up the monotony of repetitive small talk but as the symptoms lingered my apprehension grew. When Sarah passed me Manya and I wasn't confident in my ability to control myself never mind keep her precious vulnerable bundle safe I became quite alarmed. Two hours and a small pond later my equilibrium returned and hasn't failed me since.

People always fall back on in-law jokes as though it is a universal fact that in-laws are a heinous by product of marriage that generates hours and days of heartache, angina, and water cooler buffoonery. I'm not saying I entirely disagree but by simple arithmetic, if all in-laws are terrible, then 95% of the world must be unbearable when visiting under that guise.

My in-laws just stayed in our home for five straight days.

During my bout with gravity and balance we watched an informative commercial regarding the environment that any of you (all five of you readers) may have seen. The spot is about recycling water bottles and the massive quantities of plastic bottles not recycled each year. Apparently each year there are enough plastic bottles not recycles that if lined up (like anyone would do that) tip to base, the bottles would circle the Earth something like 162 times. That's a lot of bottles, and a strange, strange commercial to watch during A Capella competition. Strange demographic in my humble opinion.

Oddly, this commercial was ideal for us five. See my in-laws drink an ungodly amount of water out of bottles. Sarah uses a Britta, I use the tap, they LOVE bottled water. Its ironic because a majority of bottled water is purified water. Its shit tap water, run through some charcoal to 'purify' it, put in a plastic bottle and sold to you for $1.25. And the public thinks that's cleaner. Pepsi and Coke are selling tap water for more than the price of gasoline. They're geniuses. I should sell people oxygen. Maybe set up an oxygen bar and sell people air... oh, wait, too late.

When I was 16 an in Peru on a family trip I spent an evening on the beach with a bunch of Peruvian kids. They were attempting to make fun of me as an American by joking about recycling. "Oh you American, you going to recycle this?" They'd toss a beer can on the ground and joke about if I was going to have issues with the litter and lack of recycling. I'm not a naked Indian so I'm not going to cry about litter and recycling? You're really trying to make jokes about recycling in 1996? WTF? Also, shouldn't they have been worrying about the ozone back then anyway?

Back to the rant at hand. My in-laws like water. Good for them. It is better for your body than soda or other processed drinks that I tend to guzzle, so who am I to judge. I was a little surprised that they were able to fill a full recycling garbage can with plastic bottles during their trip. Shocked is more like it. I'm guessing there were sixty plastic bottles in the recycling. That's a phenomenal amount of water bottles.

Whats even more amazing is that this trip was the only time they've recycled. Ever. They don't believe in it. Don't do it at all when at home, only when they're here. So of that 162 loops around the world, I'm marking Chicago to Kathmandu on them. Just them.

I promise I'll have Manya stories next time. In the meantime Manya's latest nap song can be found at:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Melks

The Melks, how can I compete? Truth be told, I can't. I'm the jungle gym and poopy cleaner, Sarah is the life support. I hold my baby, rock her, keep her dry and comfortable but six to ten times a day Manya cries for something I can't give her; The Melkys.

My whole life I have heard the juvenile sexist taunts and banter between the sexes. The universally cherished argument over the Freudian psychoanalysis, Penis envy and the ability to pee standing up. As a male I have never understood the fascination over the phenomenon. Maybe I have grown desensitized over the daily event and have become ungrateful for the freedom to 'go' where and when I want. (Times Square is not an ideal location) Personally I was simply pleased with the predilection to compose my name in the snow and drown ants. Its not a heroic trait. As if a wall of men could ever save lives and extinguish a fire with a deluge of our 12 second streams. Not to mention how incredibly noxious the fumes would be. But I digress.

A woman's ability to nourish her child HAS to be natures counter to peeing standing up. (reading that sentence aloud is hilarious, I should do stand-up on that line alone) Many women would counter with childbearing and child birth being the ultimate counter to peeing standing up/penis envy. But no! Its a trick! Women like saying they are the only sex that can bear child in an argument and/or discussion because it gives them numerous angles to quibble with. Not only is it beautiful, natural, spiritual and all the wonderful things, but its painful. And that's where they get you, with the pain and discomfort. The pain "you put me through" or "you did this to me", morning sickness, weight gain, ect always overshadows the baby making bliss and newborn when arguing over the blessing of being able to bear child.

I on the other hand I would say nursing is the perfect opposite to penis envy. I'll call it Melky-envy. I'm sure some psychoanalyst has written numerous books on this already so forgive my ignorance but in the weeks before pumping and/or bottle feeding the inability to nourish my child and calm her hunger without her mother is humbling.

The Melks are Manya's favorite. She becomes so content with the entire act of nursing between mother and child. Their bonding time over the Melkys is second to none while I am left to aimlessly browse the Internet or pretend something interesting has caught my attention outside. I'm sure I'll feel a bit of that connection once we start pumping and bottle feeding her but right now I'm quite the third wheel for all feedings. And no, cleaning poop and getting spit up on is nowhere near the equivalent of Melky bonding time.

To be fair nursing isn't all butterflies and sunshine. Babies do bite and I know nipples aren't too keen on being chewed on. To quote a bruised and reeling mother at 3:23 AM in a sleepless haze, "Every time you latch wrong, a little piece of me dies". Of course meant in the most loving way That same mother shortly after catching her breath blissfully followed with "The worst thing about breast feeding is that you can't lean in to kiss them". (Insert your own joke here, sometimes its just too easy)

Manya latches like a Vampire Bat. She attacks the boob with both hands and an eager mouth. Its incredible to watch. After the latch is set and she is off in an enchanted haze of seemingly heroin laced milk, she occasionally pops out of her slumber and strikes the boob with quick left and right hooks of fury and angst. I'm not quite sure if its vindictive in nature, a call for quicker flow of nutrients or a misguided attempt at a loving massage of the breast.

Long Melky feedings are my favorite as they transform my infant child into an old drunken Japanese Man. Half conscious, always stretching, a slight melky grin and a bloated scrunched up face, my drunken baby is the best. She makes cute funny sounds. Cuddles on your chest and in your nook as a small ball of warmth. She has no control over any appendages, her head, eyes, and unfortunately occasionally her gastroesophageal reflux ultimately resulting in a cuter melky grin and me searching for a new shirt and a burp cloth.

The Melks dictate our day. From Sun up to Sun down and anytime you'd assume ordinary people would be sleeping we are slaves to The Melks. Feeding. Pooping. Laundry. FPL. It's like the Jersey Shore but without the alcohol and the STDs.

I'm A Strawberry!

Look at that Punim!

Ready for my bath!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Super Baby!

Who you looking at?

I stick my tongue out at you!


How can something so small be so strong?

Biology teachers like to throw around strange, unusual and irrelevant facts of animals and insects. A flea, if the size of a human (the horror) would be able to jump the equivalent of 110 feet. The dung beetle if it were human size could lift close to 180,000 lbs (that's a lot of poopy). Despite these amazing feats by insects I am still staggered but the Herculean strength of an infant.

My baby can't walk, can't crawl, and sure as heck can't talk. She has trouble keeping her eyes focused on one spot and keeping her head centered for more than five seconds. Her muscles are completely spastic and mostly they're incredibly weak. We cheer when she accidentally rolls over and 'tummy time' for her is tantamount to either Chinese Water Torture or forty five minutes of Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the View. Imagine my surprise when this seemingly easily overpowered, soft pink and cooing, innocent babe grabbed a small tuft of my hair.

With the strength of Superglue!

Those little fists are powered by the biceps of Samson (pre-pompadour)! The end result is my embarrassingly girlish shriek and agonizing pain. Her ability and accuracy is sensational. Hair, eyebrows, some random minuscule fold of skin you couldn't pinch with two fingers is suddenly in the grasp of a mini bear claw of a giggling bundle of joy.

Never mind the insanely powerful legs. Its difficult enough to slap a diaper on at 4:30 AM with a shrieking baby and a dog trying to trip you never mind having to wrestle Jackie Chan style roundhouses all the while praying that Manya doesn't decide at that very moment to release a supersonic bowel movement that clears the table. I swear babies are totally weak and vulnerable except their fists close like a Venus fly trap and crocodile hybrid and their legs flail like a drunken morning star.

Manya was born with more head control than other newborns. She was still wobbly but she had some insanely dynamic neck muscles. Think all the strength of a four month old but none of the control. We learned of this unusual trait hours after birth in the wee hours of morning light with a wildly out of control head butt that popped my mouth sideways and almost dropped me to a knee. Her head butts are erratic, determined, forceful and utilize her whole body. The follow through if not quickly smothered could easily flip her out of your arms and two to three feet away from your body. Its terrifying.

We've made the transition to cloth diapers which I will touch upon once we have a few more weeks of experience under our belts. During the initial infant and belly button stump time (she held onto that stump for 3 1/2 weeks!) we used the mini disposable infant diapers. Of course in this short window Manya developed a mild case of diaper rash (one of the reasons we chose to cloth diaper initially). Diaper rash sucks. I personally don't remember wearing diapers but if its anything like any adult rash than I can only imagine the discomfort especially with all the moisture being trapped behind a plastic wall keeping the rash horribly humid and dirty. There is a solution, Desitin.

Desitin is a pure white cream that is spread on the rash to dry it out. Essentially its petroleum jelly and zinc oxide. It keeps the rash dry and 'heals' it. It also smells exactly like it sounds, like hell in chemical form if mixed with a senior citizen home. I swear I could smell my baby exiting the nursery with a fresh smear of Desitin from my parents house on the other side of town.

I LOVE BABY smell. After years of boys bunks, four years of college and god knows how many male roommates, apartment mates and locker rooms I can appreciate a pure, clean genuinely kosher smell. I love it. I smell my baby for hours. (That sentence may sound creepy but if so, you've never smelled a baby) Slap that Desitin on her little butt and it becomes an old person medicated cream smell. Manya totally becomes sweet baby smell on top, old man down below. Its a horrible juxtaposition of smells. And Extra Strength!?!?! A smell developed by the devil himself(and Johnson & Johnson?)

I complained constantly about it and decided I hated it more than the smell of poop. It was explained to me that if I waited until the baby farted it would cancel it out. Lies! Baby poop and fart doesn't smell. I couldn't handle it, the Desitin went into the unused drawer (can't throw anything out in case baby guests stop by). I let the baby booty air dry after every diaper change and immediately switched to cloth diapers (before we were planning on making the move). Eighteen hours later the rash was gone and hasn't returned. Yay cloth!

GMen! Still waiting for someone to send me a Northwestern outfit!!!

Thumb Sucker!

Giggling with Grand Pa! Abuello? What are we calling you?