Thursday, July 27, 2006

four dads in one place!

Fern gets into her music

Fern & I have been going to a music and movement class for three weeks now. It's been a lot of fun, although predictably, I've been the only dad there: it's mostly moms, plus a grandma and two nannies. Today, though, in some sort of freak of nature, there were four dads. My first reaction -- strange, I know -- was to mourn the loss of specialness. There's a "hello" song where we sing all the kids' names, and then "hello to the mommies" and, usually, "hello to the daddy." Today, we had to pluralize it. I used to get that whole line of the song all to myself, and suddenly we're splitting it four ways! Who are these people?

So I chatted with them, a little. Of the new dads, none was a stay-at-home like me. Two were dads giving mom "a day off" (what an odd thing to say, I couldn't help feeling), and one was a dad tagging along with the nanny to see what it was all about. Poor nanny, she looked at a loss for what to do. It's hard to split one kid two ways, especially a 3-year old boy who is more interested in the cool sticks and instruments they bring than sitting on anyone's lap. The other nanny in the class brings two kids; I thought maybe she should share.

Nonetheless, it was nice to be interactive, although I was unclear on the social expectations as we were all leaving. Should I invite them over for beer? That's a daddy thing, right? I'd just read an article someone sent me about stay-at-home dads from the S.F. Chronicle that made it seem like daddy groups should do that: drink beer and talk about diaper rash. I guess I have a lot to learn!

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

second anniversary, first date

Joan feeds Fern some of her first banana

discovering banana Grandma Joanie came out to be our first babysitter, taking the occasion of our second anniversary. Kristin and I went out to Ozumo, one of our favorite sushi and robata places, while Joan, well-practiced in the art of feeding Fern her newly-discovered favorite (banana moosh), took care of the little one!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

no more casts!

With her podiatrist, Dr. Chen with Masi the cast room tech Bill the orthopedic tech Sorry to be so slow to report this, but yes, Fern's casts are off! We had one last appointment with Dr. Chen, where x-rays showed that Fern's feet had corrected pretty well. The left foot is on track, and the right foot has improved, although she may need to wear a corrective shoe when she starts to walk. At the last appointment, we got to say goodbye to Dr. Chen (pictured, far right) and Bill and Masi, the cast room techs who'd gotten pretty used to having Fern around!

Once those casts came off, Fern fairly quickly got around to enjoying her free feet in the way she's enjoying everything these days: tasting!

no feet
No feet...
one foot
One foot...
two feet
Two feet!

If you've missed the story, here are the previous entries in the casting saga: Fern's finicky feet; cast progress.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Deb & Erica visit again

hanging with Erica

We had another fun visit with Deb & Erica; they were amazed that she's getting so big! Remember their first visit (or their second, for that matter)? Fern was so small!

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

random spring pictures

I am clearing out my spring backlog and thought I'd finish up with a few out-of-sequence but cute photos. Some of these may have been posted before, but I don't think so...

From June 24

From June 16

From June 11

Kristin, Fern, and Carson IMG_3214_edited-1
From June 10

From May 23

From May 13

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

a visit from Kelley and Phil

Kelley and Phil visiting

Our friends Kelley and Phil (who, you may remember, coordinated the first-month food delivery, for which we are eternally grateful!) brought us dinner yet again. They found Fern in one of her flirtatious moods, which, I'm happy to say, are coming on more and more often!

There are a few more photos from the evening: click here for the Kelley & Phil show!

Phil and Phern phlirting

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Another post by Kristin... with video!

I thought it about time that I make another appearance ... I've been struggling with finding the time to sit down to write and to find the right words to capture my reactions to our latest milestones.

I've been back at work now for nearly 4 months---I would say that I've "adjusted," but it's really more of an ongoing process rather than a place of arrival. With each milestone, whether it be Fern's birth or the introduction of solid foods (featured here in this video), I find myself both elated and grieving at the same time. Each new step means that she is becoming more independent of me---which is healthy and wonderful, yet a little part of me misses the depth of her dependence (Mom, as you read this, I bet you're thinking, "yeah, imagine how I felt when you moved all the way to California!").

As you can see, Fern throws herself into each experience---as I witness her exuberance, I often find myself thinking, "I want to be like Fern when I grow up!" I am a better person by virtue of being her mom; she's teaching me profound lessons about life and living.

July 11, 2006: First solid food!

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solid food

Fern wants the grilled cheese

We started getting the idea that Fern was interested in our food by the way she watched us intently every time we ate. In the photo (sorry it's a little small; click to see it bigger), she's grabbing insistently at Kristin's grilled cheese sandwich.

here it comes! So, we've been introducing Fern slowly to solid foods, one new item each week per our pediatrician's advice. She started off with rice cereal, which she's a fan of, as you can tell. (The first meal was on July 11th, for those of you keeping score!) Now she's up to banana moosh, and we'll start on sweet potato soon!

Sometimes Fern is so intent on getting her new and beloved food that she'll go so far as to lick the tray!

there's some more food, right there! yuuuummmm!

Click the flickr link below if you want to see all the feeding photos!

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

kissing cousins

with cousin Laura Fern finally got to meet her cousin Laura at Ken's birthday party. She also met cousins Meg and Aaron, but they somehow escaped my ever-roving camera!

with cousin Laura

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

on the plane home

Just a quick post and a story about Fern on the plane home from the Fourth of July. So far (touching wood), she's been a champ on airplanes. She does cry a little on the way down, and sometimes on the way up, but nursing or letting her suck a toy (rarely a thumb; she's not too good at that yet) seems to alleviate the ear pressure pretty well. We've even tried, on the advice of our pediatrician, having her suck on a syringe of sugar water, although we didn't get terrific results.

The trip itself is usually brilliant, since Fern is a huge flirt right now. She loves smiling at strangers who smile at her, and there's no shortage of those on airplanes!

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fourth of July

There were way too many pictures for me to post them all on the blog: make sure you check out the photo site!

We traveled to Minnesota for the annual St. Anthony Park Fourth of July parade and picnic, which is an incredible affair, like something out of The Music Man. An updated version, perhaps: groups marching included Neighbors for Peace and a wheelchair contingent from the convalescent home, foreign adoptees (all carrying their birth nations' flags), boy and girl scouts, various local dignitaries (including St. Paul's mayor!), and lots and lots of neighbors.

With Mom in front of the library relaxing in the stroller

That's Kamryn in the background on the right; Fern got to spend some nice time with her cousin over the days we were there. (Meaning, of course, that we got to see Mark & Ali a lot, too! For some reason, they don't make it into as many pictures as Kamryn...)

Fern and Kamryn

Let's not forget our hosts, Joan and Gary!

Gary reads to Fern, who eats the book Joan and Fern, Minnesota summer

Luke and Morgan were able to come to town for the parade and spend some time with us and their niece, too.

Luke, Kamryn, and Fern Luke & Fern

Being in Minnesota, we also got to spend some time with Kristin's childhood friends, including Rekha, her sister Sujata, and Sujata's family.

Rekha and Fern in Joan's kitchen friends at the pool

Some more of Kristin's oldest friends; we met up at the parade!

Kristin, Janna, and Sonia

And, of course, the godfamily; here's goddad Steve with Fern, who's nearly twice as big as when she was christened.


Many apologies to all those who were somehow missed with the camera! (I'm getting sloppy, I know... Sorry!)

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

a homey visit from Grampa Alan

Grumpy Alan dropped by for an evening visit and to see how much our little girl has grown! The visit finally gave me a chance to start a new photo album, called, of course, "Fern's First Summer." Watch for it to grow!

Fern's getting wriggly, and although we can eat out without too much trouble, we've found it tends to be more relaxing to eat in. So we used Grumpus Jackson's recipe for pork tenderloin with mustard sauce; we've made this a number of times since Jack and Anne made it for us, always with great success. Too good not to share; I've put it at the bottom!

The next morning, Grumpy brought us fruit and pastries for a tidy breakfast and a little more time with granddaughter before his board meeting downtown.

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce
3 pork tenderloins, each 3/4 pound

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Bourbon
4 Tbsp brown sugar
Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp chopped scallions or onions
1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

In a shallow baking dish, blend all marinade ingredients. Add meat and marinate chilled for several hours. To serve, preheat oven to 350. Bake meat in marinade 45 minutes, basting frequently. Serves 4.

To prepare sauce: in a medium bowl, mix all ingredients. Let stand at room temperature before serving.

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