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, November 29, 2007

Timing is Everything

My Dad has some funny timing. If, by "funny", you mean "bizarrely and disturbingly able to consistently call when you are rushing off to work/placing first fork-full of breakfast in your mouth/right at the scene towards the end of "The Crying Game". After a few years of this, I finally asked Dad if he had a camera on me. You know, like an X10 web cam (For fun and security!). He's a good guy, my Dad, and now opens every phone call with, "Is this a good time?".

Max seems to have inherited that particular "I'm watching you with my sppyyy satellite" spidey-sense for bad timing. 'Cause, yes, that is not a hat on Max's head. That is his actual head, glowing red from the 102-degree fever he's currently battling. This would be fine if WE WEREN'T ABOUT TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY. Thankfully, years of Dad's awkwardly timed phone calls have taught us that, rather than shaking your fists at the spy satellite-laden sky, you just have to laugh and answer the phone or, in this case, pump the kid full of infant Tylenol.

Breakfast will always be there and Max will be fine by the time the kid comes; Dad only calls once a week.

Triple Psyche!

Ok, I'm sorry. We're in official "crying wolf" territory here, aren't we? There are just so many new babies around - well, two real babies - it's hard not to tease. Ah, but you know that we tease only because we love. Soon, though, we'll have some actual Katie and Matt offspring for your brain-melting pleasure.

This cute little number, Sophie, comes to you via our friends Tan and Ann-Marie. The two most talented architects in Minneapolis with a three-percent finished, full-size, potentially functional, already totally awesome, 21-foot sailboat in their garage.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This Blog Five Years from Now

We're goin' Existential, baby!

Hopefully, the robots don't attack before then.

Note to self: don't let Daddy's DVDs get mixed in with the boys'. Wait, whose is what again?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Still Under Construction

The attic's about done, but the little brother of Max is yet to be born. We'll keep you posted! And, oh yeah, your brains are melted by The Cute!

The Future's so Bright

You had to know this post was coming.

It took us a while to convince the kid to wear shades. And, in truth, he hasn't actually worn them for official retinal damage prevention duties. Mostly, he wears them in them in the tub and, like in this shot, Max had to have them on right when he got up from a nap. Then, of course, he had to have his "Planes" book to read, in his crib, with his sunglasses on. The trick, really, is that we've taught him to give a hearty Fonzie-esque "Aaaaaaaaayyyyyy" every time he puts on the lentes del sol. This, I can tell you, is one of the funniest things you will ever see: A kid, Max, in this case, jamming a pair of baby-sized sunglasses onto his face and then, as his hands jut out with excitement, he says, "Aaaaaay!!!" Every time he does this, I expect an army of Pinky Tuscaderos to come battering down our door to carry the boy off on their shoulders chanting anthems about their untoward intentions for my little, innocent boy.

I suppose if their was some hipster/rebel figure who we could reference for hat wearing, we might get to do that before it's a thousand degrees below zero.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bad Dreams Bears

I don't remember my dreams with anything approaching regularity. So, when I do, it makes them seem pretty significant. When I have the exact, same dream two nights in a row and I remember it both nights, it's a cause for concern. Ze dreem, you zee, ve must anal-lice ze dreem. Later, ve get to your mother, first, ze dream.

Short and sweet: in the dream, I'm casually going out to the backyard. (But, it's not my backyard (you know the drill)). I go down the stairs of our little stoop. I'm taking out the garbage? Going to the garage to check the oil in the 960? Who knows? It's fairly moonlit; a nice night. I'm walking down the sidewalk and I hear a familiar sound, but I can't figure out why it's familiar. I can't figure out why I'm thinking of Dan Haggarty. I look to my left and I, yeah, it's not Mad Jack and Old Number 7 making the deep, guttural noise. It isn't a Wookie either: It's Gentle Ben, sans the "Gentle" and substitute with "Giant" and "Killer". The bear turns towards me with an angry grunt, "A toy!" and I double back, running towards the house. I hear the breath of the bear as he begins to accelerate towards me. I know the next thing I'm going to feel are claws on my back and the sensation of flying. In my head, I wonder what it'll be like to be eaten alive by a bear. But I make it to the stairs and . . . . I wake up, scared shitless. I roll over in the dark and, in the dim light, I see the outline of my wife's four-days overdue baby baking belly.

No doubt, my two favorite Germans, Freud and Werner "tragically, he vaz dah-voured bah bearz" Herzog would loooove to hear about this dream. I'm just thankful this kid is kid is overdue and missed being a Scorpio. What would he be in the dream then? A C.H.U.D?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Random Random Random Random

This, to me, is the sign that we've hit some wonderful new phase of the boy's life. No longer his he a baby or a toddler operating on pure need and fulfillment of said need (the way Max has redefined "now" for me is the subject of a whole other, very long, post). Now (as I define it), though, there are enough neurons in ye olde baby noggin that we're getting some interesting feedback loops on the data output. Case and point: The sock on the hand. A few days ago, it became very important to spend a good portion of Max's day with a sock on one hand.

Two nights ago, despite all offers to remove the sock before bedtime, Max went to bed with one sock on his hand. In the morning, once he was awake, I went into his room. Let's keep in mind: at this point, he's been in his crib, awake, for a good half an hour. Once he decides to, he'll stand up and call for "maa-MAA! and/or "daaa-DEEE" until we get in there. Usually, I'll go in, we'll do a little "good morning" song and dance routine before I lift him out of the crib and get the day going. It's all very bucolic and charming, lemme tellya. The morning after bedding down with his sock, as I opened his bedroom door and began my "good morning" song, I was interrupted by a little twenty month-old voice from the dark corner of the crib: "Soooo-OOOOCK?!" It had come off during the night and now (as he defines it) we had to find the sock.

I pretty pleased and a little disturbed by this development. On one hand, I can be my normal, random self and Max'll kinda get it. On the other hand, does the world need a dork as dorky as me?

We found the sock, got it back on his hand and then got on with our day. Our normal, happy, one-sock-on-our-hands day.

Double Psyche!

Nope, we've not yet popped 'round these parts. We would, however, like to welcome a new member of our family: "little-surrogate-fake-

I'm not quite sure what possessed Katie to pull this thing out today but, well, the hormones, folks, they are not to be questioned. So, with that aside, Max was introduced to his not-your baby brother. He generally seemed non-plussed by his new charge. He did not, as I predicted, drag the kid to the backyard, duct tape him to the tree, pull down his pants and invite the neighborhood kids over to laugh and point until we got home from work.

I don't think he minded his not-your brother as much as he minded the bottles that come with the baby: they're the ones that appear to have liquid in them and, when you tip the bottle back, the liquid vanishes into a hidden reservoir. as I unwrapped the bottles, I mentioned to Katie how, when I was a kid, I found these types of toys fascinating, 'cause I could never figure out where the f'n liquid went. In reality, I never got that far in the sentence for Katie. I got to the word "types" before I drifted off, rapturously tipping this little baby bottle again and again in front of my open-mouthed face.

Max, a chip off the old block, tried in vain to drink from the toy bottles until he got bored, looked at his little not-my brother, shrugged and asked me where we keep the duct tape.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is My Son Rockwell?

Ever get that feeling that someone is always watching you? Ok, hey, by the way, in our previous lives, we would be aghast if someone used pre-made, jarred spaghetti sauce in anything. If it makes you feel any better, the morning of this same day, I made the boy pancakes from scratch (again). So we're not completely screwing him up, right? Yeesh, now that I think about it, how do you counter-balance pre-made, jarred sauce? Is there a ceremony we can do to cleanse Max's aura? Do I hand pick the Morels? Do I make the pasta like back when Mama and Dada were dating and they still loved each other?

Can we purify the boy before his brother arrives? It's probably too late.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

There's that. . . . Guy!

Max was very excited yesterday. The Guy came to pick up the last of our neighbor's leaves. Max was was pumped 'cause here's this dude in "Ni-Ni's" (Nina's) yard with motorized vroom-vroom makers. He's also pumped because he can drag a chair over to a window and plunk the glass with his little pointer finger and say, over and over, "Guy!"

I don't know what the heck to call these guys except "guys". "Workers" just seems a little too, I don't know, Brave New World-y: "Look, Max, there's a Delta, happily vacuuming leaves off Ni-Ni's lawn!" (Really, would you trust an Epsilon with a power tool? I didn't think so.)

Basically, in one swoop, every non-female, whose specific signifier he doesn't know, has become "Guy". Not just "Guy" but, excited, pointing exclamatory, I-know-him, that's. . . "Guy"! "Hi, 'Guy'!" Now, when we drive down the street, there's "Guy"! The little, tiny plastic dude riding a motorcycle? "Guy"! All the men working with machinery in his "Construction Zone" book? Glad to see you "Guy"!

Just as long as he doesn't become one of those people who calls everyone "buddy", you know, non-ironically? Ugh, I'd rather he smoke. If he's going to be a rapscallion, let him be like the super-polite highwayman, Captain Feeny, from "Barry Lyndon".

'Til This Hour Has Gone Around

What you don't know is that, when Daddy is available, every nap and every gentle night-night is preceded by track 2 from U2's album, Rattle and Hum: "Van Diemen's Land". This, I suppose, is mostly The Edge's fault as, well, if the most gigantic band in the world (at the time) can have their he-can-pretty-much-sing guitarist sing on the second track on the follow-up album to the Biggest Record EVER, then, by god, anybody can sing the damn song. Also, I remember all the lyrics. Ever since I spontaneously burst into a screwed up version of "Heartache Tonight" in front of most my fifth grade class, I've had "Lyric Block": "Ohhhhhh. . . it's "heartache tonight!". That, I blame on the waning days of great AM Radio and our hour-long bus ride to school. Heh, I almost worked at that station when I was 17. Crazy.

Anyhoooooos, I've been closing a lot of nights at Ye Olde Giant Wholesale Non-Evil Club recently, so I haven't been home for a quite a few of my nye-nye, all-A capella sets. Today, though, it's me and the boy: los lobos solos; and I got to sing to him.

This really should be a post about what it feels like when you hold the little boy in your arms and he leans his body against you, wraps his arms around your neck and rests his head on your shoulder. Sometimes, no matter how bad the singing is, he sighs with absolute contentment or gives one of those baby yawns; either of which breaks your heart and makes you love the whole world. I usually get over loving the world pretty quickly. What this post is about, though, is how much I missed crappily singing to Max these last few days. I did not know I was missing this until it was happening. I forced the poor bugger to listen to both verses and an extra chorus before I put him down. Right before I closed his door, I could see him giving me a bleary-eyed "The hell?" look. Parenthood, kids, in a nutshell.

By the end of the song, Max is really relaxed or totally traumatized. Either way, as I'm humming a little coda, he pushes off and leans back towards his crib and a bit of the old ultra-sleepy. Tragically, for Katie, this is just the beginning of a nightly U2 kick, and she has to sit there while I mangle "I Will Follow" and "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" the rest of the night.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Ah-Ha! Gotchya, suckahs! There is still no (name-less) brother for Max. That child would be baking away. There is, though, a new cousin for Max: Lucy! A few weeks ago, Katie's Sister and her husband brought home their crazy Cuban, Norwegian , Irish Minnesotan baby de melange. While Max has set the bar almost unattainably high re: all baby-related charm, Lucy seems to be acquitting herself quite nicely.

Welcome, Lucia!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Frost /Max

While you wait for the attic. . . I mean, the new bedroom to be done, here's Max showing off his growing vocabulary. There's a monster post coming about his use of "No". Stick with the interview until the end. One of our favorite things about this new, talking person, is the breathy, kicky, kinda "Marilyn Monroe" adios he gives. It's best when he says good-bye to someone after he's turned and walking away. He tosses one hand in the air with a "Ba-Bye!". Done with you. Next!

Almost There

We've gone from this:

To this:

This whole project has been a learning opportunity for father and son alike. We've learned: you can, in fact, use a very large crane to boom drywall into an attic from the alley; we have many, many friends who are generous with their time and labor; beer does help drive drywall screws and mud fill cracks; mudding drywall is an activity spawned by the devil himself so that, in between snacking on souls, he could laaaaaauuuugh while formally sane men curl up, crying, in the fetal position among empty 5 gallon buckets of joint compound. It's been fun!

Soon, though, we'll be back to regularly cataloging The Cute.

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