Max and Miles who, to Me, Will Always be Secretly Named "Gus"

The blog about Max and his little brother, Miles. Stunningly cute boys and future leaders of the rebel forces.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yes, That is Your Head Exploding

I finally figured out what that overwhelming feeling is. Basically, it's like a "denial-of-service" attack on your brain. You know, when hackers shut down Yahoo or Amazon by using a bunch of computers to ask so many questions, so fast, that the website is forced to shut down.

So, when you look at this picture, every synapse of your brain is slammed by one, single, unified message: CUTE!!! You shut down. It's either that or he's scanning you. . . over the internet! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fluid Dynamics, Grandpa? I Know All About It.

Grandparents TR and Syl wanted to see Max one last time before they expose themselves to the H5N1 virus in China. Don't forget your masks, guys!

Each new grandparent proved to be wonderfully adept at getting Max to calm down.

Sylvia talked to Max about how beautiful he was and not to be upset because the world is full of so many wonderful shopping opportunities and he'll look good in just about everything. This made Max pretty happy until he realized his parents were artist-types and he would probably be an artist-type and that would make his "shopping" more like "looking". Welcome, Max, to the vagaries of Capitalism! Hey, it beats waiting in line for diapers, buddy.

TR took over and soothed Max by reading to him from this wild book all about everything you've ever wanted to know about pumps and fluids and the physics behin. . . . ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzZZ. . . . Sorry! Where was I? Oh, yes, fluid handling. Interestingly enough, the book works on children of all ages!

It was nice to watch TR and Syl go all ga-ga over the kid. Also, it was nice not to have to do the crazy "fim-fam" dance for one evening. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

That to Which You are Reduced

There's some fairly surreal song that Katie's Mom sang to her and her sister when they were babies. It involves fish going over dams and a few groups of nonsense rhymes. The fish would "fim" and "fam" right over that dam. All that would culminate with a deep knee-bend and a "swoosh!" sound. Which, I guess, physically represents a fish "fimming" and "famming" over a dam. Turns out that Max's DNA tells him to enjoy this knee-bend motion, too. This is fine of you are a dancer (like Katie's Mom) but not so fine if you are a six foot five mutant with bad knees (me).

However, field tests have revealed that Max cannot tell the difference between knee bends and experiencing the same motion from a more arm-based locomotion.

Now picture yourself at a dinner party with friends and a crying baby (yours). You just want to hang out for twenty minutes more. What are you willing to do to get those precious minutes? That's right: you are become a "fim/fam" machine and you have no compunction about it. Now, if there were just a machine that could replicate this motion: that is something that we should work on! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

There is no Gravy or Parenting 101

To celebrate the big "Grandpa Meets Max" event this past weekend, we whipped up a wee turkey snack (shout out to Kris at Costco: Thanks!). Aurelio has become accustomed to us jumping all around the kitchen just about everytime he comes over. It all seems like a lot of fun and, this time, he wanted in on the good time. All we had left at this stage was either stirring the gravy or carving the turkey and, after some thought, we put him in charge of the gravy. Dad suggested that we get a Nephew/Uncle cooking show, whereupon, Aurelio and I had this exchange:

Aurelio, stirring away: "Uncle Matt, why do I have to keep stirring this gravy?"

Me, jokingly (I thought): "Aurelio, one thing: if we're going to have a TV show, there's a rule: no questions!"

"Oh, Okay."

"I was just kidding Aurelio. You can ask questions."

"Oh, Okay."


Aurelio: "Why do I have to keep stirring this?"

See, this is why having a kid is still kinda scary. Do we really need another person who's "funny" like Uncle Matt? I mean, Fatherhood: I've already proven myself has a diaper changer-er, a putter-to-sleeper-er, a getter-upper-at-4am-er; all that stuff is easy. But when it comes time, how do you act around the kid? Will a six year-old, mini, smartass version of me still be cute? How charming is a five year-old with snark? I'm afraid we're going to find out.

Anyway, do you like beets? Are you tired of the two ways you know how to cook them? Try this:

Grate a pound of beets like you're making hashbrowns (the scary grater attachment on your Cuisinart works well for this).
Add a big pinch of chopped, fresh rosemary, some salt and a 1/4 cup of flour to the beets. Mix.
Melt a big glop of butter in a big non-stick frypan until it's toasty brown.
Toss in the beets and smoosh them down into a flat-ish circle.
Cook about 5-8 minutes on one side, flip, and do the same. Serve.

It's easy, it's quick, it's really, really good.

Sidenote: You can flip it onto a plate, invert onto another plate and invert it back into the pan, however, Aurelio prefers it when you just flip it "Iron Chef Chen" style. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Old Old Man

I am the new old man. The old old man finally got to meet his grandson. You can see Bonus Grandma Gerry in the background using a great deal of self control. In her mind, she is saying, "You: give me the baby. Give me the baby. Give me the baby. You will give me the baby. . . Now!" She had forgotten that the Pogatshnik brain is impervious that sort of mind control: the skull is too thick. Also, messages, once received, are processed verrrryyyy slllooowwwwly.

Anyway, I was talking about my Dad. A long time ago, I informed my Mom, in front of both of them, that Dad was perfect. Mom found this very funny and wished she had a tape recorder. I think I was about 8 or 9 at the time and, now that I look back on it, the emotional context for the two of them probably made my comment pretty interesting. It wasn't too long after that I realized that Dad was probably not perfect. Then, there was a fairly long stretch where I thought I was perfect. Now, I see that Dad was (and is) doing the best he could which, thankfully, has turned out to be pretty damn good.

I can only hope that 36 years from now, perfection aside, Max feels as good about his father as I feel about his grandfather.

Thanks, Old Man.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Have you had your Dip/Tet?

Careful, Aunt Leah: the CDC is reporting that early test results indicate that there is a virus that creates the desire to have babies and - oh, snap! - newborn babies are the carriers and - the humanity! - you catch it from holding them!

Sorry! Posted by Picasa

On a Related Note

A few years back - and this is, in no way, an accurate recollection - a professor at Penn State told the class I was in that, sometime in the seventies, the guy who first worked out the mathemetics or something of the structure of DNA, did so while driving down a California highway tripping on acid. He had been working on some DNA project, he dropped acid, drove home and saw the answer in the sky. It was either that or when the guy chased (armed with an AK-47) some ghost racoon into the woods behind his house, he saw DNA in the sky. One of those. He was tripping both times.

Anyway, look at Max, all thoughtful after contemplating the mobile!! Max, hot tip: the big bucks are in government research grants! Posted by Picasa

Duuuuude, Look at the Planets! I am the Spaceman!

I am the walrus. Oh, I couldn't resist, even though we all know the walrus was Paul.

Here's Max enjoying the mind-bending qualities of his fantastic new mobile that Aunt Jill brought by.

It has to be so weird to be a kid, so very weird. Also, let's be honest: isn't there a little bit of a double-standard here? Could there be a little bit of a disconnect between what we offer up early and then deny later? I mean, here we are with our planets and our spirals and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" over and over and over again. . . and that's just the mobile! Everything in this kid's life equals freaky-deaky psychedelic-ky. Then, we're going to tell him "Acid bad!" in the years to come. . .Figuratively and literally.

I guess the trick is to have the kid be fun and creative (and managable) while making sure he doesn't end up one of those people on the bus who won't. stop. talking. to. you. Those people's parents never stopped with the acid. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Meet My New Daddy

So, for the last few days, I've noticed that when Max and I are standing at the back door (sorry, when I'm standing with Max at the back door), he's pretty calm. It doesn't seem to matter what time of day it is: we'd be back there, swaying away and Max, who had been crying in the living room suddenly grew quiet. Now, I was thinking that there was something about looking out the back door at the yard and the garage. At night, it was nice because you had your moonlight and streetlights and when it was snowing the other evening, it was just one of those sweet, quiet baby moments: snow falling, soft light, kid asleep in your arms.

Now, this morning, Katie's catching a bit of sleep; Max and I are at the back door, he's calm and in the quiet Saturday morning light, I hear a noise to my right: the fridge. "It can't be", I think. Oh, but it can.

I stick him in the car seat and walk back over to the back door, sway the car seat a bit and he calms right down. I set the car seat down, rock it a bit, and he's asleep. It takes a few tries: he prefers to rock for a while but, after about five minutes, he's out cold.

I skulk away, chastened. These last few days it wasn't the view or the warm arms of his father or my low and slow version of Elvis' "My Happiness" that was doing it, 'twas the fridge. I felt a little bummed until I realized that this was way cheaper than setting him on top of an empty, running dryer. Give it up for Max's new daddy: the fridge! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oh! Incompetent Fools!

Well, Max, we're doing the best we can.

Somewhere between the feedings (he's up to 7lbs 9.5 ozs) and all the onesie changes, we forgot to check our calendar: it was national "Hold Me Continually Day". For some reason, today was the day, regardless of the fact that he was in full REM sleep: like, seriously riding the purple dragon over the magic hill to where all the luscious breasties live. The second you put him down: bing! He was awake again.

Then - prospective parents, there's a tip coming - we made the tragic mistake of cooking something with red pepper flakes in it. Enough that when you walked into the kitchen while it was cooking, you kinda did that "What's so spicy?" cough. Well, all that chili residue gets on your clothes and then, coupled with it being national "Hold Me Continually Day". . . Yes, it got a little ugly.

Max survived, though. So did we. Tomorrow, we'll find out which Max-related holiday is next! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Say it With Me Max: Flannel. Flan-nel

Unless Katie has been secretly letting Max onto the bed (like she does occasionally with Frankie. Yes, honey, I know and I forgive you), this may be the first time the baby has been in our bed. Please do not hate Katie for looking so amazing so soon after Max has been born. This is not Max-in-packing-peanuts cute, but it's pretty cute nonetheless.

Shortly after this picture was taken, Max began jumping on the bed, imploring us to get up and watch Saturday Morning cartoons:

"Mom, Mom, Mom. Dad, Dad, Dad."
"Let's get up. Thundercats is on!"

Ok, that's not entirely true: Thundercats is not on TV anymore. Man, I can remember early Saturday mornings when I was a kid, Rocky and Bullwinkle would be on. Sitting there, really close to the TV 'cause the volume was so low, I could feel my head being blown off by the surreal antics of Moose and Squirrel. We'll probably wake up to Max watching reruns on "Pimp my Ride" on the old-fogey channel on the MTV. Which, I guess, wouldn't be all bad. Ga-dunk-ga-dunk! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cat's in the Cradle and Mmmmmm. . . Something. . Little Boy into a Man. . . Something. . .Something

Yes, yes, ya'll! The iconic song by Harry Chapin can only mean one thing: the baby's daddy has gone back to work full-time and posts might be a bit light for the next few days. Please, take this opportunity to puruse the archives and revisit Max's glorious first days and my anguishing Scrabble defeat (which I'm totally over, BTW).

Fear not, though! This weekend we've got a regular family-palooza brewin': Aunt Leah from Shy-Town will be here and my Dad (Alias: "Where-the-Trouble-Started Pogatshnik") will see his grandson for the first time. Hopefully he'll have some tips for getting the kid turned on to lawn mowing. I think there's a chance Max's Great-Grandma will be over for a visit and, well, that'll just be really cool.

So, stick with us, here; check the archives; stay tuned: there's llllots more Max to come!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Let's Get This Straight

I'm a red-blooded American Male. I dig fast cars and (if I wasn't married) loose women. I change my own oil; I mow my own lawn. If I had a pool, I would clean it regularly. I drink my scotch neat and when it was hip, I smoked cigars. When I was a teen-age boy, I had a poster (purchased at Pamida in Wahpeton, North Dakota) of Heather Locklear.

That, my friends, is a cute onesie. Look at the little zipper with the little button clasp at the top. Cute, cute onesie. It has little moons and stars all over it. You can't really see them, but the feetsies of the onesie have little, rubbery pads. It's like there's hope that he might suddenly get up and walk even though, when he's walking for real, this onsie would cover, like, half his body. It's a hopeful, cute, cute onesie. If Plato had written about onesies, this would be his "ideal onesie".

Somebody will have to remind me of this picture thirteen years from now when he is wearing his clothes in whatever screwy way kids will be wearing their screwy clothes. For now, the onesie will do. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

What Did You Do With My Real Parents?

This was going to be a picture-free post, give the eyes a little break, you know? Besides, most of the pictures you get right now are "Max Sleeping", "Max Looking Pensive" (see right), "Max Sleeping Again". However, I have a problem, I realize that and that's the first step, right? I think I hit bottom the other night when we stuck him in a big box of packing peanuts (thanks CO and WA Bidons!) and took pictures 'cause it was just so cute. Ok, that was my idea, not Katie's. It looked like an industrial Anne Geddes, just a little too Annes Geddes and not enough industrial: we need more peanuts!

Makes me wonder, though, how the heck Anne can live with herself. Heh, who am I kidding? She lives very well with herself; that's how she lives, baby! I guess what I'm trying to say here is: Anne, call us! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Frankie Does a Diaper Check

Our 40-pound, vicious attack poodle, Frankie, has suprisingly and wonderfully taken to the kid. For folks who know Frankie, they know that Frankie is not one for change. Frankie's turn-ons are: order, neatness, singular attention on her, dog beds. Turn-offs are: funny noises, loud noises, people appearing to have fun, people hugging, people kissing, people in yard (what we know as "the universe"), large yoga balls.

I was a bit worried about how Ol' Franks would react to a small, funny-noised dog toy that required hugging, kissing and, for some reason, was being kept from her. I've watched Frankie disembowel helpless stuffed piggies and squirrels enough times to know she eyed Max, wondering where the squeaker is in that thing.

Thankfully, the first few days after Max came home, she was so depressed from a lack of attention, she mostly ignored him. There was something pretty comical about a poodle walking into a room where Max was screaming and then looking at me with a "You there, please kill me" look in her eyes. That morphed into a chagrined acceptance of this new dog toy and now, it seems, she just thinks Max is hers.

Good dog. Posted by Picasa

Into Every Life, Some Rain Must Fall

Here, we see what happens when I tell Max who is currently President of the United States of America. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Hard Bargin

After a long bout with a virus lovingly passed from son to father to mother, my sister, Mary, my brother-in-law, Ramon, and Max's cousin, Aurelio, were able to come to the house for a visit. No one had a coughing fit and, thankfully, we did not have to whip out the bio-hazard suits (thanks Penland Haz Mat dude, Sam!) we had at the ready.

Aurelio, graciously passed on the title belt labeled "World's Cutest Baby" and spent the rest of his time throwing a paper towel at his Dad. He and I did take a moment to lock him into a future pay-rate for his baby-sitting. I thought it went pretty well:

"Aurelio, in a few years, you'll be old enough to baby-sit little Max. Would you like to do that?"


"I was thinking we should agree on an hourly rate now. What do you think about 50 cents an hour?"

"29!" countered Aurelio


I complimented Aurelio on his excellent negotiating skills, we shook hands, signed the appropriate documents in triplicate which I promptly had notarized and locked in an apocalypse-proof safe. If the apocalypse does come, we will totally need to keep costs low.
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 05, 2006

There is No Try

It's never too early to reveal to your kid just how big of a freak you are. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 03, 2006

Things I'm Into

I'm not ready to admit that last night was the first time I've been peed (ok, really, what's the past tense of 'pee'? Are there three 'e's? Nothing looks right) on by another man: I've been to some wild parties in my day. However, nothing beats getting pissed on by your own son. Also, it helped me realize why he trips out when we wipe him with those baby wipes: they're cold!

I grabbed one just to see what it feels like for him, wiped my chest and couldn't believe that Katie and I had laughed when we saw the baby wipe warmers at Babies R Us. If he keeps weeing on me, we're totally getting one. Posted by Picasa

A Little Help From my Friends

I have to take this opportunity to give a huge shout-out to our friend Paul. Without Paul, we would still have all the cute, home-made, stuffed animals and the blanket woven by our friend in North Carolina (the green one on the back of the chair. It is, literally, as soft as baby's skin) that would all be there. However, without Paul, the furniture would be something a bit more financially appropiate: something in a nice, stout cardboard. Laguna Clay Company uses a really sturdy box. Plus, the green label would go well with the wall color.

But, most thankfully, we have Paul. So, Dude, thank you so, so, so much. We think of you and your groovy wife everytime we walk in the room, sit in that chair, change the kid. Now, could you help us find the baby monitor? It's in that room somewhere. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Format Switch

If you're new, scroll down to the post from 3/1 to start the chronology of Max's Arrival. Otherwise, return vistors, the freshest action baby post will now be up top, here.

I'm Not Making This Up

I'm not blowing smoke up your ass when I tell you Katie is amazing. Like, mind-blowing, shake-your-head amazing. See all the super-cute animals keeping the kid company? Katie made those. Folks, it's one thing to pick a cute, retro fabric for your kid's room, but it's a whole other level to take the animal imagery from that fabric and then make those animals. If Max's first word is an unholy curse, it'll be because his mother sat at an ancient sewing machine for hours, swearing like a sailor, coaxing that piece of crap machine to spit out the animals.

And, yes, child safety experts don't like the stufffed animals in there. Once he gets more active in the crib, we'll pull 'em out. For now, they make awesome props to keep him propped at an angle while he sleeps. And now, you'll excuse me, I have to go sing to my kid. Posted by Picasa

They Write Songs About This Crap

Ok, so, some of you weirdos have said, "Where are the pictures of you with the baby?". While it's never a good idea to call your readers "weirdos", that is, in fact, the clinical term for people who want to see pictures of me. Just following rules, folks!

Anyway, I've always thought that Stevie Wonder song "Sunshine of my Life" was a little over the top. Love Stevie, like the song, but, geez, sing a song about your kid, fine. But, put your kid's gurgles right there in the song? That's madness!

However, I see now that Stevie was showing a great deal of restraint and we should all be happy that there is no audio at this blog 'cause I would post freaking hours of this kid's noises and the songs we've been singing to him. Even though most of them are about pee and poop in their glorious quantities and qualities, I like to think they're pretty accesible. Hell, anything sung to the tune of "Smoke on the Water" is damn entertaining. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Max! It's Max!

Well, here he is: Max R. P. Born at 11:10pm on February 27th. He weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces at the time of birth. He was 20.5 inches long. Here is the requisite photo of the blissed out mother admiring her new child. I used to think these types of pictures were cheesy. This one? Not so much. Posted by Picasa

What Happened Next

What happened next was we went in Sunday evening, they worked some magic on Katie, we played Scrabble and went to sleep. The next morning, around eleven, they started running pitocin into Katie's IV. Pitocin (or "pit", as the kids call it) is a version of the chemical that makes labor happen. So, uh, then, Katie's labor happened. By 2pm , she was in pretty intense labor. What that means is that every couple of minutes, Katie would get a Thousand Yard Stare (tm) going on, do some cleansing breaths and prepare for the next contraction. All this labor was pretty tiring and at 8pm, she ordered an epidural. Pain, my friends, is over-rated.

By ten-thirty, the mid-wife and nurses were all set up for delivery. Katie gave three big pushes during every contraction and at 11:10, well, little Max, for lack of a better term, popped out.

Katie was amazing through the whole process. I'm now actually uncertain that she hasn't done this before and she isn't hiding some dark, Dickinsonian secret from me that I'll find out about the time she reveals that she's some billionaire's long lost wife. Until then, though, I'll just be content that Katie continues to tolerate me and allows me to hang out with my beautiful little son.

That's what happened next.

Two Against One

Let's go back in time a bit. We went into the hospital on Sunday evening to begin the process of inducement. There's some stuff they have to do the night before to get ready for inducement the next day. You can see the strap around Katie's belly, right? It held a sensor that registered the contractions on a computer monitor. Once labor really fired up, you could watch the contractions happen as a big arc on the scrolling graph. I secretly named this "Contraction TV" as the person in labor would not have found this funny at the time that I named it. She didn't really find it funny the next day either.

The important thing about this picture is the Scrabble game. It's not even that Katie won. The important thing is that I would've won had I not drawn the 'Q' in one of my last turns. Also not helping was the fact the Katie drew the 'Z' in one of her last turns. I couldn't use the 'Q', Katie got 10 more points and I lost 10 points. Scrabble sucks! Posted by Picasa

The New Grandma

Grandma Kay was there the whole time, too. This is her first grandchild! I can't imagine having a cooler Mother-in-Law. The only thing that keeps her from attaining perfection is her aversion to single malt scotch.

During the delivery, she was the only one quick-thinking enough to card the anesthesiologist, who, in her opinion, appeared to be about 19. Posted by Picasa

Drinks on the House!

Grampa Tom, after a long night of celebrating at Bunny's, comes to see his granson and declares him worthy of countless rounds of drinks. Posted by Picasa


Aunt Jill came by to check out her new favorite nephew Posted by Picasa

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