Quick Update

  1. Mac went to his first break­fast with the “guys.” He had some toast and OJ while one of the guys showed him that the wait staff would keep on bring­ing him as many crayons as he wanted.

  2. Scar­lett has essen­tial­ly start­ed walk­ing. It took maybe 34 days for her to get the hang of it and now it has already become her pre­ferred mean of loco­mo­tion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it has not slowed her down one bit, which was our hope.

Right now, I have put them both to sleep. Jenn and her crew are work­ing on fin­ish­ing the bam­boo floor­ing before Fat Tony has to go back to Port­land. With a great deal of luck, the kids will soon be asleep;they aren’t nap­pers, them two.

  1. Mac con­tin­ues to learn quick­ly. He is mim­ic­k­ing my actions and words almost imme­di­ate­ly. This con­tin­ues to make me ner­vous as just ear­li­er this morn­ing, while I was dri­ving, I was on the phone with Jenn and I keep think­ing I was hear­ing an echo, so I look back and Mac is repeat­ing word for word, inflec­tions intact, every­thing I was say­ing to Jenn and when I looked back at him, he sim­ply laughed and said, “I don’t know.”

  2. Scar­lett con­tin­ues on her own path of healthy skep­ti­cism. I had tak­en Mac and Scar­lett to this morn­ing’s break­fast group. She met some male strangers and gave them all her patent­ed icy look of indif­fer­ence until, after a few min­utes of hard wheedling by the guys, they broke her ice and she start­ed smil­ing and flirt­ing. I sup­pose this is a good thing and por­tends well for her future rela­tion­ship with men.

The Christmas Letter

The First Annu­al1 Christ­mas let­ter. I assume we are all Chris­tians here, if not Catholics, but I just don’t want to miss say­ing to “hap­py Kwan­zaa, Hanukkah, Hap­py ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā’.”


The dogs Nigel, Kar­ma and Bel­la2 and the cat Mag­gie have final­ly got­ten used to Macon­nell but are still wary of Scar­lett, espe­cial­ly when she grabs their noses, which tends to hap­pen a lot when she is in her high­chair eat­ing and the dogs will come by, sniff­ing to see what she has dropped, or as more often is the case, what she is hold­ing out to the dogs so that they come close enough for her to grab onto their noses. Because we know this and we know the dogs know this, we have to shoo the dogs out of the liv­ing room so that Scar­lett can focus and eat her food.


Scarlett—as you are all have noticed by now—eats. She is in con­stant food retrieval and dis­pos­al mode, and if you refuse her food, she will let you have with some seri­ous pierc­ing screams of annoy­ance: Do. Not. Mess. With. Her. Food. I think she needs all this food to just keep up with her con­stant squirm­ing. I have spent sev­er­al days just doc­u­ment­ing the fact that she does not stop moving—ever.
As for her abil­i­ty to walk, we were off on that one. We thought sure­ly by Thanks­giv­ing she would be tak­ing a few inde­pen­dent steps3 but for now4 she just hangs on the fur­ni­ture and kind of falls for­ward, not resem­bling walk­ing so much but evok­ing ten­ta­tive zom­bie stag­ger steps. Crawl­ing as you know, she has down; she’s fast and con­stant­ly under­foot. I final­ly under­stand why Jenn wants Scar­lett to start wak­ing: It will slow her down. As for cog­ni­tive devel­op­ment, Scar­lett under­stands that mean­ing of “No.” Of course, she also under­stands that she is too young to under­stand this con­cept, and so will hes­i­tate for about a sec­ond after she is told “No,” before she quick­ly plops anoth­er found object into her mouth.


Macon­nell has also improved his loco­mo­tive abil­i­ties. He is start­ing to build up speed to where he is almost run­ning, he isn’t quite lift­ing his knees high enough, but his legs are start­ing to glide a bit bet­ter and his feet are start­ing to bounce more and his tran­si­tion from step to step is quick­er and on occa­sion he seems to be almost running—i need to find the right words—but as he picks up speed he seems to teeter more and more but no longer falls head long for­ward and bites it, like he use to. He also almost knows the fun­da­men­tal issues involved in oper­at­ing a truck: He knows where the keys go and to turn them, he under­stands he needs to down­shift into dri­ve, he under­stands the wheel turns the truck left and right. I have per­son­al­ly seen him demand the keys and head off to the truck ready to go bog­gin.5 Note I have notes about him that I am still work­ing on and intend to put up soon.

Other News

What else, while we did not remod­el the house on the lev­el of my dad, we paint­ed the house a wasabi green. We also paint­ed the chim­ney red, but from across the street it looked like a blood­ied shiv stick­ing out of the roof, so we had to go back and paint it black. We also ripped out sev­er­al trees and weeds in the front yard, and now have a per­fect view of our neigh­bor’s dilap­i­dat­ed hov­el which was quite excit­ing to real­ize after all that hard work and mon­ey was spent.

Death of a Truck.

I got a new truck, no name for it yet though. Sev­er­al months ago, my beloved Ford F‑100 Ranger “Boce­phus” was rear-end­ed and so after much thought, we trad­ed in my WRX Sub­aru and got a bright blue Toy­ota Taco­ma. I sup­pose it’s exact­ly what I’ve want­ed and, if need be, can cross the coastal range in four-wheel dri­ve via the log­ging roads, the kids in the back of the super-crew cab and the dogs safe in the truck bed, cov­ered and pro­tect­ed by a canopy.6 How­ev­er use­ful the truck will turn out to be, it can­not com­pare to Mr.Whitman’s Mini-Coop­er which just brings out all sorts of envy in me.

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  1. this is not actu­al­ly true since this is the first let­ter, but I hope to make it an annu­al event []
  2. named after Flav­ius Belis­ar­ius [505? – 565] is often described as one of the great­est gen­er­als of the Byzan­tine Empire; he helped Emper­or Jus­tin­ian recon­quer much of the West­ern Roman Empire []
  3. This morn­ing dec 11, 2008 she man­aged I think to take one step but quick­ly sat down. Dec 14th at 4pm, she took 3 suc­ces­sive steps before tak­ing anoth­er nose­dive. Dec 15th, at 6:30pm she took two steps before face­plant­i­ng. Each crash quick­ly fol­lowed by peels of frus­tra­tions that just have to be heard to be believed: This is a lit­tle seri­ous girl who is going to get her way. []
  4. Now being when I start­ed writ­ing this on Dec 7th. []
  5. This four-wheel­ing in mud pits for you Mid-West­ern­ers. Think of an out­door Mon­ster Truck Ral­ly track about 15 min­utes from our house out in War­ren­ton. []
  6. Again high­ly use­ful if dri­ving through zom­bie infest­ed woods. []

Blowing our minds, she does.

2008-10-01 7:30pm

Just so you know, we saw Scar­lett climb up a flight of very tall stair steps and we all kind of just stared, mouths open, stunned;1 it had the same effect on us as see­ing a dog sud­den­ly get up on its rear legs and talk.

  1. We were qui­et and did­n’t want to star­tle her and have her real­ize that she was doing some­thing impos­si­ble and sud­den­ly decide to tum­ble down the long set of stairs. []