Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Party! Time to dress up!

This Saturday was a baby shower for Big Baby Bleckmann.  Erin took the opportunity to dress up.  She likes looking lovely.  Luckily it didn't take very long to do her hair. 

Friday, January 25, 2008

Woooo! Friday night!!!!

The iMac: making wasting time fun again.

102 days

Photo taken 6:45 am, 1/25/2008
Erin's 102nd day breathing on this planet.

Unofficial stats:
Height: 24-24.5 inches (hard to measure a wiggly baby)
Weight: 14-14.5 pounds (weighed with mom and dad on the home scale)
Curiosity: high

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Useful things

Found in Ms. A's coat pocket when hanging it up:

1 tissue, unused
1 stub from parking meter
1/2 stick construction staples
3 rubber bands of various sizes
1 ginko leaf, dried
small packet of fennel seeds

Macgyver, eat your heart out.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Newest Animal

Introducing the newest animal at the McMiller zoo....
.... the turtle.

Yes, she had help in getting into this position, but not much.
Apologies for the shaky camera work.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Woof woof!

Since it was very cold outside and Lil' E is battling a cold, a trip to the zoo was out of the question.  The next best thing?  A dog show!
 Shown here: The H, Brian and Lil' E checking out the "agility" ring. 
 Wow!  Look at how those dogs can jump.
Then onto the grooming area - boy this one was well behaved.  

And what did E think of all of it?  
Maybe we won't be going to another dog show for a little while. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Brian: Man, she really looks like Uncle Dave in this picture.

Ms. A:  Um, so don't you  mean she really looks like you?

Brian: Oh. Hm. Yeah.  I guess that's right. 

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Nearly three months since the McMiller household became N+1 and we finally did it! We went out for the night, sans Erin. Many thanks to the brave Ms. C who looked into the eyes of the growly bear and only saw a cuddle bug. Yes, Lil' E was on her best behavior for her Auntie T. They played, they talked, there was even multiple books read, whereupon both Ms. E and Auntie T fell asleep in the rocker. It was a great night for everyone involved.

Mom & Dad partied like rock stars at the TW company holiday party. As hard as rock stars can party and be home by 10:30. Watch out, all those who are on the "sitters" list - we're ready!

Auditioning for Brünnhilde

Dateline Portland, 1:30am Friday.  

In the pitch black of night, I hear this really creepy sound coming from Erin in her crib.  Yeesh! Can she be possessed?  Surely she's too young to be possessed, right?

Well, it turns out our little lady was quite awake and luckily quite in control of her soul.  So, we turned the lights on, hung out with her, and let her stomp her little legs into my chest for about fifteen minutes (doing the baby equivalent of running around the block so that she tired herself out).  She continued making this completely new sound.

Before that night, she'd coo and say "ah goo" like a pro, but this was really different.  She loves to talk this way now.  It's like she's listening to herself, trying to work out how her tongue shapes sound.  Hear for yourself in the clip below, see how our little soprano is doing.  

I don't think The Ring Cycle is being staged in Portland any time soon, but that will just give her more time to perfect her pitch.  I can just see it now at daycare:  "Was she classically trained?" "Oh, yes, yes, very."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lil' Hipster

Shoes for kickin' it in the crib.

Eat Mostly Plants

I read Omnivore's Dilemma late in 2006.  Having belonged to a CSA for a few years already and living in Portland, the epicenter of the Localvore movement (Ok, really it was Alice Waters who initiated this, but Ptown has taken over the title through the likes of it's multitude of dedicated local-only chefs), I felt pretty darned smug about doing my part to eat locally, seasonally, consciously.   I even went so far as to buy half a lamb from a very small local producer, a friend-of-a-friend to tell the truth.  (For the record, half a lamb is not actually a whole lot of meat.  But there absolutely was a difference eating meat from a locally pasture-raised animal rather than the standard fare.  So tasty!) But then.

Today I heard an interview with Michael Pollan talking about his next book, "In Defense of Food."  He states that where Omnivore's Dilemma investigates the marketing, production, business side of food, this book explores the consumption of food.  In his summary: "Eat food.  Not too much. Mostly plants."  In the interview he gives advice that nutritionists have been saying for decades now.  A carrot is better for you than a beta carotene pill.  Shop the periphery of the grocery store, not the aisles.  Make your food yourself.  Leave the table just a little hungry. 

So what is new in this book?  Not having read it (yet) possibly more insight into the food industry.  For example, unstead of a warning to reduce the intake of red meat, we are told to eat more protein that is low in saturated fat.  Those are two very different messages.  

So now "In Defense of Food" will go on the library hold list.... of course reading this book in a reasonable amount of time is a blog post for another day. 

Saturday, January 5, 2008

That's a lot of dogs, Lou.

I was recently challenged to eat 33 lbs of sushi.  It got me wondering, has anyone eaten 33 lbs of sushi at one time? I don't know. But this year at the Nathan's hot dog eating contest, the title was reclaimed by the Americans after a long run of loosing to the Japanese with an astounding, record-breaking consumption of 62, yes 62 hot dogs with buns, in 12 minutes by Mr. Joey Chestnut.

Fascinated by this topic I've come to learn competitive eating is serious business. Not only are the quantities consumed astounding, the food choices on which the competitions are based are equally interesting. Some records:

8.6 pounds 10 minutes/ Apr. 28, 2007, Joey Chestnut (guess you work your way up to hot dogs)

Cranberry Sauce, Jellied
13.23 lbs, 8 Minutes/Nov. 22, 2007, Juliet Lee

8.5 ounces, 1 minute/ Aug. 8, 2004, Eric Booker

Reindeer Sausage
28, 10 minutes, Dale Boone

7 3/4 pounds, 12 minutes/ Nov. 26, 2003, Sonya Thomas

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

That's So 2007

Ahhhhh good friends, delicious pork cassoulet, decadent cookies, hot melty cheese goodness, sparkling wine, and 2 of 3 children well-behaved. What better way to end a year and begin anew? Many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. B for ever gracious hospitality. Of course celebraing NYE with three children whose collective ages sum to less than 5 years, midnight was observed East-Coast time, thus ensuring an appropriate bedtime for everyone involved.

Some highlights from the evening:
  • Miss L and handsome young Master A fawned over Lil' E, carefully inspecting her toys, helpfully handing them one by one to her, and never became concerned at her eventual fatigue-induced wails.
  • Miss L enjoyed a chocolate chocolate chip cookie so much she attempted to feed it to the on-screen Linus on the video of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
  • Mrs. B enjoyed libations, as she is free from obligation to provide nutrition for a small person.
  • The Misters B made some darned good libations.