Sunday, December 30, 2007

The second child?

That's right - we had to adjust the settings on our TiVo so as to ensure the shows we actually watch are being recorded and not deleted.  What did we change? Did we add more educational shows that expand our minds?  Did we include extra news programming to increase our understanding of our world?  No.   We made certain we would not miss a single episode of Reno 911.  Darn you, Lieutenant Dangle and your cheetah-like short shorts!  
Mind you, we do not have fancy cable - limited basic is our choice - and thus do not get Comedy Central.  We rely on late-night reruns on some local channel.  Can you imagine the high-quality programming we would be recording if we did have expanded cable? 

Second most embarrassing confession of this blog post is Lil' E seems to really like watching TV.  Especially Reno 911.  It's going to be an early, high-quality education for this little one. 

Monday, December 24, 2007

What?! Don't Tell Me You're Still Checking For Updates Manually!


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Never worry about missing a hilarious and touching McMiller PDX post again!

A view from the couch.











"Coasters, family! Use your coasters!"

It only took two months.


Many, many, many thanks to those over at the condo for helping us to remember what it's like to be social creatures. Delicious lingering multi-course dinner, excellent conversation, fantastic ice wine.... all while having fun with two little cuddle monkeys (this refers to the babies, not the kitties, although they were fairly cuddly too). 

Erin and Henry got along famously and Lil' H was very generous in sharing his toys, changing table (used about 5 times in one evening) and spare clothing.  If you, gentle reader, are intending to reproduce I strongly recommend timing it so that you give birth within days of another couple.  That way when you want to get together for a dinner, you have someone else with a baby at nearly the same stage.  No more awkwardness as the critters cry for milk every half-hour or decide to explode in their trousers while the moms and dads are enjoying their appetizers.  It's all part of normal life! 

 For those who are interested in going go chocolate heaven, try these Chocolate Baby Cakes.  Note: when putting them in the oven directly from the fridge, add 3 min. or so to the baking time.  Although if you don't the resulting soup is still tasty as Mr. D can attest.  They go especially well with homemade vanilla ice cream (props to Ms. C!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Miracle: 650 Miles in 13 Hours

Road Trip!
We've arrived!  We've traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to see family for Christmas.  We packed up the car last night, awoke at 3am, fed Erin, put her in her carseat, and then headed south.  Ms. A and I had these nightmares that Erin would be extremely unhappy about being in the car for 12+ hours, but she was a total champ. She slept until almost the Oregon border, then slept for long stretches after that -- she probably slept for 9 of the 13 hours.  And she slept like a super-champ last night, too.  I'm sure fate will make us pay of this karma debt at some point, but for right now we're just enjoying our good fortune.


In-Flight Entertainment
We hadbeautiful weather -- clear skies, snow over the pass, and dry roads.  A very pretty day for a drive.  We loaded up the iPod that Ms. A got me for Christmas with all the NPR podcasts we could get our grubby hands on.  The special treat we had in the morning was listening to podcasts of Bob Edward's show from XM.  Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne, I'm sure you're nice people and all, but man, you sure are no Bob Edwards.  Especially you, Steve.  You're a stinker.  Just report the news.  Don't try to be clever.

Disco Party
When Erin was awake, we rocked out at Club Nano.  I think the White Stripes was Erin's favorite:

Scorecard
Miles: 654
Time: 12:34:22
Hours Erin spent sleeping: 9
Feedings: 4
Times Erin went pee: 5
Times Brian went pee: 7+ 

Monday, December 17, 2007

Vitalstatistix


The time came for the dreaded 2-month Wellbaby doctor visit. Why is this so feared? It involves receiving 4, count them, 4 injections into a critter's chubby little legs. Ouch! My, my did Erin use her lungs. As a mother, one never wants to belittle her child's pain, but it was just a little funny how red she got - not just her normal red-face cry but the entire body.  Thankfully her misery only seemed to last a few minutes and she was soon soothed back to her happy, bubble-blowing-lip smiley self. She was a champ.

Some stats for those who are interested:
Weight: 12 lbs 8 ozs (75th percentile)
Height: 23" (75th percentile)
Head circumference: 41 cm. (90th percentile - no wonder she has a hard time "turtling" on her tummy!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Unlikely friends

This seems like a cool lab to work in.  Who could ever be sad with these guys as research subjects?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

McMiller Technology Update


New Box!

So, around 8:30pm on Saturday, we decided that Erin was calm enough for... for bed? for having a story read to her? for cuddling? No. We decided that she was ready to head out into 30F weather and biting winds to go to the mall and replace our old Dell with an iMac.

It went something like this: after a restful evening, apropos of nothing:

Me: "Hey... want to go get a computer?"
Ash: "Hell, yeah!"

Feelin' Quite Unhip

The Apple story was hilarious. No employee there was over 17 years old. All were so hip I felt like I was back in high school the minute we walked in the door. Instead of saying "Hello! May I help you?" they said things like "Hey, what up? You got questions about that iPod?"

So, we walk in, we're sort of in a hurry to get back home. I just want to pick up our box and go. So, I look for someone to talk to. Ah! I spy a counter. People behind counters can help, right? Wrong. That's the tech support desk. "Oh, this is the help desk. You'll want to talk to people out on the floor." OK, sure. So, I go to someone in an Apple shirt who looks available, "Hi, I'm looking to by an iMac.". "Oh, sorry, I'm the iPod guy, I can't help you with the computer that's 4 feet away. I'll get someone to come help you."

iPod guy: "Why don't you go post up by the Mac you want, and I'll get someone to come help."
Me, not understanding "post up": "Excuse me?"
iPod guy: "Go post up by the Mac."
Me: "Yeah, I'll just go post up by the Mac I want."

Sadly, and very unhiply, I scurried home to go look up "post up" on Urban Dictionary. Oh, the shame of it all!!

Want to Talk to Erin?

The pic above is a snapshot from our first video chat with Grandma and Grandpa McFeely. Anyone who wants to see live video coverage of the most beautiful baby in the world, just send me an email and we'll hook you up.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ms. A's Christmas Surprise



Ms. A, while reading a bill she just received for the labor and delivery: "Yeesh, I guess my Christmas present this year is going to be an epidural."

Hands are for Grabbing

video
A short video of Erin and a favorite toy. After reaching, trying to grasp for a few minutes, she successfully got hold of the duck. As you can see, she was very pleased with the results. (disclaimer: this video is probably only of interest to the Grandparents or child development researchers.) Let's hear it for motor skill development!

Back to School


Week 1 for Erin in daycare, and she handled it like a champ. She looked at all the other babies, heard some riveting storytelling, napped quite a bit, and learned to eat well from someone other than Mom.

The end of each day we received documentation of all her biological functions for that day. This morning Ms. A put together a flow-chart to see if any patterns are emerging. None so far but that prompted a cry of "NERD!" from Mr. B.

An unexpected side effect from this experience is her newfound desire to go to bed early, sleep alone in her crib for most of the night, and to be exceedingly happy and cuddly when awake. (Pictured here: a good morning nap in the crib.) Three cheers for Daycare! If anyone is in the market, we can now recommend YMCA. They rock.

Turkey Day 2007


Thanksgiving came and went, the first the McMillers have hosted. Ms. A's parents and brother Heath made a sojourn to P-town for the occasion. Also in attendance were some folks from A's lab and the neighbors/best friends D & C. Ms. A and "Grammie" put together a feast and amazingly nothing went amiss - the turkey was moist, the stuffing delicious, and was topped off with a decadent chocolate mocha cake brought by N & M. A crackling fire warmed the room and much delicious wine warmed the guests. Hopefully a good time was had by all.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Life At The Zoo


Pretty cute, yeah? So, we've gone through a few critical transitions since our last serious talk here at McMiller PDX:

Angry Badger
For the first month, this was about all we got. Typical activity here was that Erin would be asleep, with a don't-f-with-me wrinkle in her brow, and it would be time to take her to bed, or to move her, or whatever. Ms. A and I would both look at each other and wordlessly think the same thing: no way am I going to disturb the Angry Badger, you do it. You see, for me at least, after many years in the Boy Scouts and as a weekend woodsman, I have learned that you never, ever approach a wild animal, or awaken a sleeping one. This could result in grave bodily harm, or, in Erin's case, damaged parental eardrums, lost sleep, and sore feet from walking her around for hours.

Well, that particular side of Erin changed over the period of a week. Suddenly, a few weeks ago, we had a new animal on our hands:

Growly Bear
I love the Growly Bear. Growly Bear is still a wild animal, but an adorable one. Unlike the unpredictable and ferocious Angry Badger, the Growly Bear will cry in an endearing fashion only when she needs something. In this mode, she's got the kind of toothless growl that you want to humor, "Oh, yes, you're very ferocious, I know. Now let's get you out of these poopy diapers." You see? Nothing to fear.

Then, our little lady metamorphosed yet again in the past week:

Cuddle Monkey
This is a unique animal. She interacts with you. She'll smile when you smile. About once a day we even have real conversations. Seriously. Well, the kind of conversation where the sounds you make don't generally involve the lips or the tongue. She's got "ah-goo" and "ah-poo" down pretty pat, and can coo like no one's business. She'll respond when we talk, just like we respond when she talks. She enjoys hearing books being read, hearing songs sung, or just having someone play with her, usually by having her toys give her smooches, "Mmmm-wah!"

We generally see the Cuddle Monkey in the morning, and mostly Growly Bear in the afternoons. Angry Badger, not to be forgotten, makes a semi-regular appearance but usually doesn't stay too long. It's a nice little zoo we have here.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sage Advice

After what seemed like Erin's twentieth feeding of the day, after which she was still not sated, I busted out my first gem o' wisdom in her young life.

"Sweetie, there's no more boob for you. No more boob! Life is not a series of boobs, Erin!"

Get ready, Erin, poppa's got tons of these little nuggets of wisdom ready to drop!

Another Track From Our Forthcoming CD Of Inappropriate Children's Songs

Sung to the tune of that "Good Night Ladies" song:

Someone's got a dirty butthole,
someone's got a dirty butthole,
someone's got a dirty butthollllllle,
and that person is Erin.

I'm not sure why Ash and I are always singing during diaper changes, but it sure makes it, um, fun.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Brian McFeely, Musical Genius. Erin McMiller, Captive Audience.


Finally, someone who appreciates my music. During the change of a poopy diaper tonight, I came up with a little ditty that Erin just loved. All on my own. Because I'm a musical prodigy. Finally. At 33 years of age.

Sung to the tune of nothing I recognize:

"Poo poo poop,
Poo poo poop.
Poo poo poop,
Poo poo poop.
Poo poo poop,
Poo poo poop.
Poop poop poo poo pooooooop.
(pause)
All songs copyright Brian McFeely 2007."

As you can see from the above picture, Erin has been smiling for the past two weeks. She's got a great smile, and all it takes is some clever lyrics using words she's familiar with.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chocolate's not just for breakfast.


Lil' E and Ms. A met Christie and Henry (pictured) at Via Delizia for "lunch" today. Yes, gelato, mochas, hot chocolates, and chocolate cake count as lunch. Must say the gelato was perfect - creamy, no traces of ice, perfectly smooth with balanced flavors. The cake enjoyed by Christie appeared wonderfully gooey and very attractive complete with a sugar monkey. While not sampled by our table, the panini looked very fresh, flavorful, and reasonably priced. The comfortable environment made for a great visit - we were free to chat, take our time, enjoy the afternoon. And since both the little 'uns had lunch as well, the establishment is very breast-feeding friendly. But then again, this is Portland.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Erin's First Threepeat



(Opening the third diaper of the session)
Brian: "Hey there, sweetie, you sure are prolific!"
(Wiping Erin's hindquarters)
Brian: "Do you know what prolific means?"
(Attaches the diaper tabs to the front of the diaper)
Brian: "Well your butt sure does."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Polite dinner conversation


Grandparent #1: The exchange rate hit $1.50 per
Euro today.

Ms. A: Wow. Bummer for travel, but that's really good for the US export market.

Grandparent #2: Hmm. What is the main export for the US?

Mr. B: Hegemony.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This. Is. War.

Meet Steve. This is the first kitty in the McMiller household when he was a baby. (He's now 2 1/2 and not as fuzzy, but still cute.) It is my humble opinion that Steve was the cutest kitten ever. Don't believe me? Check this out:

Kitten War!

There. I've met my quota for warm fuzzies today.

Many thanks to S.N. for the link.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This counts as a date!


Last night, we actually cooked something for the first time in over a month. Never mind that it was potatoes from our CSA that made its last veggie box drop in early October. We cooked, darnit, and it was delicious! Who can resist stick-to-yer-ribs comfortfood scalloped potatoes with cheese?


To top it off we watched two ENTIRE movies, start to finish, without significant breaks. Will wonders never cease? Sat. night was "Sicko", followed on Sunday by "Michael Moore Hates America." Both are recommended - the former being a commentary on the US health care system, the latter being at first an expose on the rotund docomentarian but quickly morphing into an introspective work on the act of creating a documentary film. An interesting quote (not 100% correct): "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity." The McMiller household believes in fair, balanced entertainment.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Siblings Visit


Alternate Title: Those Siblings Who Can Easily Travel Because They Currently Do Not Have Children Visit

So, we had a great visit last weekend with Sharon, Matt, David, and Linnea.

They stayed that the Travelodge out on 82nd Avenue, which Sharon and Matt report was a great place for a great price on Friday but which they and David and Linnea described as "the crack hotel" after spending Saturday night. I think the whole thing hinged upon the simple fact that David and Linnea were pissed because the night they were there the hotel ran out of doughnuts in the morning. Please note the review half way down this page.

Anywho, Saturday we took a walk in the park, went to Saturday Market, checked out the waterfront, then came home for fajitas and, most importantly for Ashleigh, cervezas. Then, I had an opportunity to show Dave (using our new super-duper Tivo technology) why 30 Rock is vastly superior to Scrubs.

Sunday morning we went over to Drew's to watch him prepare to brew some beer with Josh, then we hit a fancy lunch at Zupan's with Mark and Erik. Cupcakes were had from Saint Cupcake, and then the party had to go their separate ways.

Big weekend. Good weekend.

Encouraging Words


B: "Oh, yes, you're a little princess, aren't you? (Pause, thinking). A karate princess. With a PhD. In astrophysics. A karate princess with a PhD."
A: "Way to go, Erin!"

Grandma McFeely Visits

Two weeks ago Grandma McFeely was here to kindly help out. There was cooking, there was cleaning, there was great conversation, and, of course, there was walking Erin around at midnight while Erin spends hours trying to break the world record for baby decibel level:

Grandma Carol: "Erin, Erin, why are you crying? What's wrong?"
Pappa Brian: "You sure you don't want earplugs, Mom? They sure help."

(As you can see from the above exchange, I've sort of decided I have to sort of steel myself during these colicky periods. These plaintive cries would kill a softer man. On a good note, life with Erin has been so much better the past week or so. Keep your fingers crossed!)

The week with Mom went great. We ate great (I mean, just check out the great spread in the pic above), the ladies had a fun time together, and, as a nice bonus, the weather was pleasant. We were fortunate to be able to have my mom spend this time with us. Yay, family!

And, props to my dad for giving my mom the opportunity to come up solo. OK, Dad, you're next!

Babies... Just Like Us!

We've just discovered that babies are Just Like Us!


They watch TV!



They have Social Security Numbers!



They go bald!



They make stinky poops!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I like it raw.


Mmmmmm... sushi. One of the things I greatly missed while pregnant. That and delicious, hoppy beer. So a few nights ago we splurged and spent half of our generous Delivered Dish gift certificate (thank you, Tripwire!) on a sushi feast from some local purveyor. My was it delicious. The salmon had just that buttery sweetness, the spicy tuna was creamy, zesty, crisp. And then I didn't taste the rest but ate it over the next two hours in stolen swallows. See, the critter (a.k.a. Erin, a.k.a Angry Badger) likes to have lots of attention in the evening hours, making mealtime more like prolonged snack time. But man it was delicious.

For those of you interested in reading a sharp op-ed piece on prohibition of sushi during pregnancy, I ask you to look at this NYT piece. The part that really hit home was the cultural insensitivity aspect. That never occurred to me. Still, I refrained because, well, it's so hard to get out of that guilt-laden, puritanical mindset of "no risk is too small".

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Erin On Safari


Whew! Just back from our exotic, day-long African safari. We saw giraffes, parrots, and tigers. It was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Achtung Adult

OK, there's something on my mind, and I'm going to just come out and say it. I'm going to stand up before the Church of the Child, and just say it, just let the truth be told.

Here it is: having a newborn is hell. Yep, you heard it right: having a newborn is hell. Consider this a warning, all ye future parents!

They don't laugh at your clever jokes or silly faces. All your good material? Wasted on them. I'm thinking of instituting a two-drink minimum with Erin before I give her my good jokes.

Newborns never smile. I'll say it again for those, like myself, didn't know this: newborns never smile. The only facial expressions they have are (a) blank, (b) vaguely curious, (c) crying, and, eventually, (d) screaming. They will track your face with their eyes after a few weeks, but they don't really interact with you in any way you're familiar with.

The only power you have to influence the way they feel is to (a) feed them, (b) change them, or (c) hold them. And other times, especially at night, none of these three have any affect on the child. It sort of leaves you helpless -- at times there's nothing you can do to help your screaming child. It's pretty heartbreaking.

They don't give a crap about your sleeping schedule, your need to show up reasonably alert for work, or the sensitivity of your eardrums.

This thought really occurred to me as Erin (just three weeks old) started to interact more with us. Nothing that you can really point to, but I just get this feeling that within the past few days she reacts more to my facial expressions and tone of voice. The change really spelled out for me how hard it was to interact with her only the week before.

Of course, it's sort of stupid of me to expect to have a deep, complex inter-personal relationship with someone who has been in the world less than a month. It probably says I needed to get out more.

Before having the baby, I had one person, one, who said that the first months are "tough". And, I suppose if you include Anne Lamott with her terrifying "Operating Instructions", two. Now that we have Erin, people are now, um, feeling free to tell us their horror stories. I've even pressed people who have now changed their tune from, "Brian, the first few weeks were just magical, I really cherished them." to "Oh, crap, you're right. I guess I forgot." Sure you have.

I'm sure I'm on my way to pariah-dom for publishing this, however, it's how things are going. Our little Ms. Fussypants is lucky she's so cute. Very lucky.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Millers Visit


Week 3 of Erin's life featured a visit by Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Heath Miller. Their presence was invaluable. For six nights and days we were fed, laundered, vacuumed, dusted, tidied, napped, and much more thanks to them. Highlights included Erin's first bottle, Erin's 2-week doctor's office visit, and the eternally memorable Erin's first trip to Costco. Plus they brought some choice movies such as "Runaway Jury", "Thirteen Days", and "Young Frankenstein." We enjoyed their company, greatly apprappreciated their assistance and had a great time.

Let's hear it for family!

Prime Minister McMiller


B: "You know, she looks like Winston Churchill in drag."

A: "Yep."

Another friend: "We need to get her a small cigar."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Erin Says... (Name This Picture)


"'Goo goo ga ga?' Yeah, I got yer goo goo ga ga right here."

She Speaks! ...Well, Sort Of

This morning Erin awoke, grimaced, and with a loud fart filled her diaper. Then, alert and observant, looked at Ashleigh and me and uttered a distinct and speech-like "Murp!"

We have a team of neo-natal linguistic experts researching the possible meanings of this word.

A few minutes later, she spoke again: "Urp!" We're not sure if this is a simple contraction of the previous word "murp", a completely new word all together, or just an improvement on her usual eructations ("come on, I want to hear it from the diaphragm, now!") . Obviously, more data needs to be collected.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sea Song

[In the car, listening to Franz Ferdinand]

A: Whoah! What was that lyric just now??
B: "I'm on BBC2 now."
(Pause)
A: Oh.
B: Why, what did you think he said?
A: "I'm a baby seal tuna."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wanted: Information Leading To Discovery Of The Actual Father Of This Child

Our little Erin: red hair, red eyebrows, red back, shoulder, and arm hair. High hair line. A little soft in the middle.

I'm confident that it's not the mail carrier, as the mail carrier is a short, dark-haired man. Nor can it be the milkman, since we, like anyone else born after the advent of refrigeration, get our milk from the store.

I'm guessing we're looking for a hairy-armed Irish mechanic or plumber, heavy-set, somewhere in his mid-forties.

Anyone with information should immediately contact me so that we can clear up and move past this troubling paternity issue.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First Doctor's Visit

Highlights from the first weigh-in at the doctor's yesterday:

Lil' E is up from her birth weight of 8 lbs 2 oz to a whopping 8 lb 9 oz at just under one week of age. The standard is to be back at birth weight by 2 weeks. Apparently milk supply and feeding is going well. We were given instruction to let her sleep through the 3-hour-between-feeding standard, much to our relief last night.


After the nurse weighed Erin, she left the exam room to go get the pediatrician, leaving us with Erin on the scale. But before the doctor arrived, the cold of the scale on her little birthday-suit-only self was too much and she proceeded to gush and squirt both #1 and #2, respectively, all over the scale. This made us think we might want to build an ark. This display made both mom and dad clutch their sides in laughter. (Seriously, someone let us be parents?) The weight, once baby removed: 2 oz. Wow.

Overall, the doctor said she looks great, but we already knew that. :)

Photos From Grandpa and Grandma McFeely




If you haven't yet found that perfect shot for the framed 16x20 you're planning on putting over the fireplace, you can find some great shots from Grandpa and Grandma McFeely here.

I mean, look at that face -- seriously, she's adorable, yeah?

Christie, Darren, and Henry

We were able to make some new friends during out stay in the hospital: my co-worker Darren and his wife Christie delivered their son Henry while we were there.

Henry is both adorable and handsome, and Darren and Christie looked great. Check out their great blog at http://darrenandchristie.blogspot.com.


*Not pictured: Darren (he was busy snapping photos with me)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Birth Photos


Photos! Git yer photos! Find them here.

The Beverage Formerly Known As Wine

Me to Ash last night: "I don't know why they call this stuff 'wine'. They should instead call it 'perspective'."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Today's Double Feature: A Devious Mastermind/Too Much Milk


Our first movie, "A Devious Mastermind", concerns a nefarious little creature, who, using about the only powers available to her, during each of the three nightly diaper changes, waits until her poop-filled diaper is off for her to pee alllll over the place, somewhat reminiscent of the Trevi Fountain. All over the new diaper, all down back towards her stomach, soaking her onesie and the changing table cloth. It's quite beautiful at night, and I'd recommend taking a loved one when you go see it.

Speaking of fountains, this brings us to our next and final feature, "Too Much Milk". This film explores boobs at their extreme, at their very limit of fullness. In it, Mother McMiller stars as the large-breasted Earth Momma, bringing milk to the world, whether there's a baby in front of her or not. This film may be inappropriate for infants and small children, who may be unable to grasp the full heft of the film, and may need assistance in encompassing and digesting this film's important subject matter.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cable!

This is classic. As of 2pm today, now have basic cable. This of course means we're essentially paying $13 a month for what comes for free over the airwaves. However, the truly amusing thing is that Ashleigh and I almost jumped up and down to see that that Simpsons comes in crystal clear. I mean, a baby and clear reception?! We're in hog heaven.

We're shopping around for a DVR, so if you've got a suggestion, we'd love to hear it.

On the baby front, we've settled into a good routine with Erin. We're currently writing up our labor and delivery story, and uploading baby pics, which we'll have posted by Saturday night.


Oh, and of course, with Basic Cable, you get a little somethin' extra. We now get the Discovery Channel (yay!), QVC (wtf?), and, my all-time favorite, Public Access. I almost wet my pants when we flipped the channel to it and saw this --->

When the pot show actually started, the host spoke for about 15 seconds before some tech finally figured out that there was no sound. Excellent.

Home!

We arrived home yesterday.

We had some excitement trying to get Erin in the car seat while it was still in the car (rookie mistake, I'm told), with a cold wind blowing outside, the car parked in the "no parking" spot outside the hopsital, Ash and I in the back seat trying to both (a) juggle Erin, and (b) remember how to adjust the seat. Really, we should have had the instructions tattooed on our forearms.

We then headed home. What a great feeling. We feel like we are finally able to relax, finally able to allow all the emotions that come with having a baby to sink in.

The grandparents were there to watch Erin, allowing Ash and I to take a much-needed nap. Then, after having a pizza and champagne dinner party with the grandfolks, the three of us managed to have a great night's sleep.

Last night's schedule is something like: one hour of changing/feeding/burping, followed by two hours of sleep. I had 6.5 hours of sleep, Ash had 5. That's more than twice the sleep we've had any night since last Saturday. Let's hope this rhythm lasts.

We've got some good movies rented, the cable guy is en route to hook us up, and the weather outside is stormy: perfect for book reading on the couch. A calm, quiet day: much needed.