Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wilderness Festival

(Originally posted on Sunday, September 24, 2006 by Tim)

(OK, so this was actually posted on October 7th. I?ve back dated it to the day that most of it was written)

We?ve had a busy, but relatively uneventful week out here. Cat and I have gotten over our colds. Dalton still seems to be a bit congested, but he never developed severe symptoms as far as I could tell. Since babies do all their breathing through their nose, I was worried when he started getting sick. I know how hard it is for me to breath through my nose when I have a cold, and I can switch over to my mouth. Maybe he can too, but I haven?t seen him do it yet.

The three of us have been making a habit of walking down to the Coffee Depot (coffee shop) every Saturday morning. Dalton usually falls asleep for the first hour or so and it?s a great place to sit and catch up on my grading. They also have some good drinks and scones there. The food selection is broader than scones, but most of the rest of the items are a bit mediocre. All the same, my usual morning order includes an egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant. The sandwich is interesting. They order thin scrambled egg rectangles from somewhere that then get folded over threefold and covered with a cheese like substance. This is then placed between croissant halves and heated in the microwave.

We generally have the coffee shop mostly to ourselves. The place is huge and the layout is pretty nice. There are a couple of big tables in back and also two big cushy couches. Yesterday, the place was pretty empty. It was just us and the girl who sings loudly with her iPod on (henceforth known as opera girl). This was in distinct contrast to last weekend when the place was packed.

The reason for the crowds last weekend was that Christiansburg was holding its annual Wilderness Festival downtown. The festival consists of a multitude of huts set up by vendors of kitsch, charities, politicians, radio stations, and purveyors of foods that should be avoided by any reasonable adult who gives much thought to their ingredients. On the way home, I showed my iron willpower and avoided all food products. The fact that I had already stuffed myself at the coffee shop and that the baby was crying had nothing to do with it.

The funny thing about the Wilderness Festival is what it celebrates. Many cities in Virginia have a rich history. Many of them were touched by significant events in the Civil War. Others are the sites where important institutions were founded. Christiansburg?s claim to fame is that Daniel Boone once came through town, picked up some supplies, and didn?t pay for them. Yes, that?s correct, the Wilderness Festival commemorates the day that Daniel Boone ripped the town off.

Despite the reason for the festival, it does draw quite a crowd. Our downtown coffee shop was packed. There was a wood carver working in the front as well as a literacy charity selling used books. Lots of people filed in from the street and the barristas behind the counter had their hands full. The air was filled with the chatter of happy patrons with Opera Girl caroling in the background. It was good to see the place doing so well. We really enjoy the place and sometimes worry if it will continue to stay in business. I don?t really know the economics of a coffee shop. There are a number of people that come in, order their coffee, and leave. It has been around for three years so I assume that business can?t be that bad.

Today's picture is Dalton with our good friend Anduin at her house near Washington DC. He is wearing a sweater and booties that she made for him. I don't know if you can see in the picture, but the sweater has the cutest little square buttons. The picture was taken on September 2nd.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And another picture we didn't post on time...

(Originally posted on Saturday, October 7, 2006 by Cathy)

(from 9/20)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Baby Dal is still huge

(Originally posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 by Tim)

I?ve figured out the way to quickly get a doctor?s appointment. All you need is a infant. You make the appointment for the baby for some panicky parent thing, and then you plop yourself on top of it. ?I?d like to see the doctor too. I?m not feeling well and I?m afraid I?m going to give it to the baby.?

We?ve actually all been sick the last two weeks. It?s my fault. Well, actually, it?s the students fault. They come to school each fall and bringing Dog knows what with them and spread it around. This year, they managed to infect everyone with a Y chromosome and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Radford. In turn, I brought my cold home and gave it to Cat and Baby Dal. Since Cat and Baby Dal don?t get out much, it?s been hard for me to shirk the blame this year.

Now we wouldn?t have been all that worried about a cold. However, one of my co-workers was diagnosed with pertussis (Whooping cough) this fall. It turns out that she had it all summer and the stuff isn?t contagious after a few weeks, but we didn?t have all that information at the time. It?s highly contagious and has a 50% infant hospitalization rate so we were quite worried. As a result, all three of us piled into the doctor?s office for Baby Dal?s two month appointment.

Cat and I both got a one shot vaccine for pertussis, diptheria, tetanus. Baby Dal got four shots covering nine diseases. Our shots hurt and his were given with the same 1 cm long needles (different needles, same length). He took two in the pudge of each leg. With the first one, he demonstrated his chameleon like ability to turn beet red in milliseconds. His legs did swell up a bit and we had a higher incidence of Dalzilla for the next two days.

A big part of going to the doctor is getting Dalton measured and weighed. I?m happy to report that he is still huge. At two months, his weight was 13 pounds 4 ounces. His length was 24 and a quarter inches and his head circumference was 16 and three quarters inches. That put him in the 80th, 90th, and 95th percentiles for weight, length, and noggin respectively. I was surprised that he?s longer than heavy. We might have to stop calling him pudge all the time.

Today?s picture is from last Friday. Baby Dal has been full of smiles lately and we?ve been trying to get a picture of one. As you can see from the picture, he?s clearly forgotten the immunizations from earlier in the week.

Monday, September 18, 2006

We know you aren't reading for the text anyway

(Originally posted on Saturday, October 7, 2006 by Cathy)

So here's a picture... (from 9/18)

As I recall, there's supposed to be a blog post all about how much Dalton loves to look at the quilt hanging over his changer. But there isn't. Deal with it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

If I made the rules...

(Originally posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 by Cathy)

If I made the rules...

  • Babies who refused to sleep except on/next to a parent wouldn't startle awake every single time that parent blew his/her nose or coughed.
  • Parents of babies who refused to sleep except on/next to a parent wouldn't get sick.

Greetings from baby sleep deprivation land.

Thursday, September 7, 2006


(Originally posted on Thursday, September 7, 2006 by Tim)

Thursday is the day I?ve cleared to help Cat with Baby Dal. I?ve found that it takes discipline on top of no regular responsibilities to keep the day clear. Today, I had an ad hoc meeting that was scheduled for 11 am at Radford. Since I was already going to be in, I told my students that they could make appointments to see me in the morning. One of them took me up on the 8 am slot so today ended up being a half day of work for me. This would have been OK except I forgot to tell Cat about it. Last night she told me that I?d need to take care of Baby Dal in the morning so she could get some student recommendations done. Ooops!

Cat ended up writing those recommendations when I came home after my meeting. We walked down to the coffee shop and I carried Dalton around in his sling while she did her writing. When she was done, she emailed the recommendations off to a secretary somewhere who presumably took care of the rest. It?s hard not to love wireless internet.

Dalton slept for the entire time I carried him. He would sometimes fuss when I sat down so I pretty much walked around or ?danced? with him in one place. While it wasn?t particularly ?productive? time for me, I was still able to get some things done. I found a nice high table where I could comfortably write while ?dancing?. I?m giving an exam in General Chemistry tomorrow and I was able to take it to test the length. It took me fourteen minutes while juggling a baby. My usual rule is that I need to be able to complete the exam in one third the time students have for it to be the right length. They get fifty-five minutes so 18 minutes would be about right. I?m either getting better at taking my own exams or this one?s going to be a bit short.

After the exam proofing and recommendation writing were done, Cat and I sat down for a game of Scrabble. This is never a pretty sight. Cat has a significantly larger vocabulary than I do. In everyday life, I obscure this truth through the liberal use of a contraption recognized as a Thesaurus. In Scrabble, our differences are accentuated with Cat using words like ?Ibex? on the triple word space while I struggle to place common three letter words in the middle of nowhere.

The game actually started out pretty well for me. I was actually in the lead for the first five turns. Realizing that this couldn?t last, I contemplated starting the coffee shop on fire while she complained about ?bad letters?. At the first sign of smoke, we would have had to flee. I sure I could have conveniently knocked over the board while simultaneously grabbing the score sheet. From there, it would have been easy to declare myself world champion and refuse to ever play the game again.

However, before I could initiate my plan, Cat exceeded my score by placing the word ?zee? on a double word square. My response was, ?Zee is a word?? Apparently it?s the spelling of the word for the letter Z. Why Z is spelled ?zee? instead of ?z? is beyond me.

This last weekend, we drove up to Washington DC to visit friends from graduate school. One of our friends, Brian, is a professional photographer in his spare time. If you were at our wedding, he and his wife Anduin did all the pictures. Today?s picture was taken by Brian while we were visiting. I think it?s fantastic. It?s so good that it facilitated an ?I?m a Dad event today.? I actually removed the Transformers icon that I was using as my desktop background and replaced with the aforementioned picture.

Brian is a better photographer than we are

(Originally posted on Thursday, September 7, 2006 by Cathy)

Photos from our visit to Springfield, to visit with Brians, Anduin, and Amy.

Friday, September 1, 2006


(Originally posted on Friday, September 1, 2006 by Cathy)

Dalton weighed in at 12 lbs 11 oz yesterday, leaving him between the 75th and 90th percentiles still. He's outgrown all of his Gerber brand 3-6 mos onesies, and the small/3mo Carters brand sleepers are too short as well, although he's still got a bit of roon in the onesies. Note to anyone buying for him for Xmas: he'll need at least the 9 month size, and winter clothes in the 12 mo size wouldn't be silly. (And if it's Gerber, better add an extra 3 mos to what I just said, since they seem to run really small.)

The dregs of Ernesto have us totally drenched. I'm still waiting on laundry from two days ago to dry, which is further exacerbating the suddenly-none-of-these-baby-clothes-fit problem.