The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Number One Search Term

Going over some Web Stats the other day, and noticed something interesting. What is the number one search term people use to arrive at this blog?

Jasper > No
Harris > No
Online Hack Incapable of Writing a Decent Sentence > Surprisingly, no

Eddy Munster

Butch Patrick would be proud.

Factoid from his website: The Munsters lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. That same road today is now Wisteria Lane on the show Desperate Housewives.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More Dad Blogs

As I start exploring the Daddy Blogsphere a bit more, I'm stumbling across loads of other Daddy Blogs. All take a slightly different tone - some sarcastic, some sentimental - but all with the underlying theme of dedication to their children.

Anyways, here are a few that caught my attention. There are plenty other good ones out there - more as I stumble across them.

Polanski shares his parenting adventures through photos. And his daughter is adorable.

Daddy Chip waxes nostalgic about his daughter and som - man has a memory like a steel-trap.

Metrodad delivers the "...ravings of a jaded, cynical New York dad." An enjoyable read. And feeling super-lazy this morning (hey I had a long night), Metrodad pulled together a number of excellent blogs in his post Who's Yo Daddy?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Six Week Round-Up

The boy is getting big. He's 'pert-near' eleven pounds now and just starting his latest growth spurt which means cluster feedings and lots of diapers; but loads of cool progress as well.

Harris is getting strong, I can't even count the number of times he's kicked me in the groin - probably getting too big to be cradled on my lap - those little feet are like jack hammers. His other muscles are growing too. He's able to support his head on his own and lift it off the floor when he's on his stomach, things most six week olds can do.

One of the coolest developments is that he's starting to become more aware and delighted with the world around him - laughing out loud, smiling and staring at the lamp. But it's a double-edged sword. For everything that delights him, he discovers something that makes him cry. For every game of Peek-a-boo, there's the bang of the garbage truck outside; every smile from his Mom, there's a breeze blowing the wrong way; every shake of his rattle, there's Celine Dion - a cross all Canadians must bear, so I'm with Harris there.

Tonight we moved him into a crib. One big step for Harris, several hours sleep for parents. We don't expect him to sleep through the night, but we've got to start sometime. He's in there right now and sound asleep. We'll see how it goes.

The famous Lowe hairline is beginning to develop, but coming in at the front first and moving backwards. This gives him the unfortunate 'Hair Club for Men' look. One of those baby conditions that will probably pass.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Web Way of Life

Great post by Laid-off-Dad on how he's going Google his son's preschool classmates...
... my wife came into the room beaming ear to ear and holding a sheet of paper--a list of the names and addresses of the parents of Robert's preschool classmates. We looked at each other, knowing our task was clear:

"Let the Googling begin!"

You know, just in case any of my son's new friends are being raised by freaks.

My own co-workers chipped in an got Harris probably our most inspired baby gift - his very own Internet Domain

We haven't figured what to do with it yet. So we might just park it until he is old enough to build his own slice of cyberspace (right now his make-a-fist-and-slam-onto-keyboard style of typing isn't conducive with good web programming) or...?

Open to suggestions.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Plight of Point & Shoot Photography

This is what happens if you don't look into the viewfinder while taking photos. Keep shooting, eventually things come into frame.

You've got to love digital cameras.

Monday, September 19, 2005


My co-working Christine is going to try the BabyWise method of scheduling their newborn.

"Christine and I have decided to try out the "BabyWise" system for feeding Elise. Everyone that we know that has tried it has found it highly effective, so today is the first day of her schedule. The goal is that by 7-9 weeks, Elise will be sleeping through the night, which would be awesome!!

We are aware that there are critics of the system, but we are trying to keep an open mind. This book makes a lot of sense to us and seems to fit in with our lifestyle quite well."

Patty and I have heard that in general any baby 11 pounds or heavier can be taught to sleep through the night. Because at that point they have enough weigh to sustain themselves (won't become ravenous) and Harris will be easily that heavy by 7 weeks. Not saying it's going to be easy, but that's our approach. We've taken a look at BabyWise and it isn't for us, but that doesn't mean it's not for someone else.

So absolutely no knock against Christine - everyone needs to do what's right for them - as long as everyone is healthy and happy that's all that matters. And if it works for them, they'll be laughing (and sleeping) right through the night!

You can view the progress on Christine's blog.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ultimate Drinking Game

Last night Patty and Harris came by to meet me after work . I love family outings. It's a chance for Patty to get out of the house, Harris to experience new things and for Patty and I to do something adult, like have a restaurant meal.

There was a flurry of phone calls before it actually happened, "I'm leaving soon." "I don't think I can come, he's fussy." "He's just started feeding, so I won't make it." "I've got a bit of milk in him. He's in the stroller, I'm getting dressed and going." I sat by my phone.

Lo and behold 30 minutes later Patty and the boy arrive in town. After a little show and tell with my co-workers - far more impressed with Harris than the ladybug in a jar I brought the previous week - we headed off to Subeez for dinner.

We had a great meal but couldn't totally relax, knowing Harris didn't get the type of feeding that puts him to sleep for hours. We kept saying, "Crap, I hope he doesn't wake up." Not exactly My Dinner With Andre, but we take what we can get.

In my younger years I played all sorts of drinking games - Caps, War, Centurion and a fuzzy collection of others. They all had the same objective, get you to drink and to drunk as fast as possible; my formative years were a blur. But none of them hold a candle to slamming a drink everytime your baby stirs. I can't remember a time we made it through our pints so fast.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy Birthday Harris!

Tuesday was Harris' one month birthday! It was quite a party. The milk was flowing; parlour games; Panda and Bunny caught in the pantry in a compromising situation - all the trappings of a great time.

Harris is now a full pound heavier than his birth weight, and filling out nicely. We've introduced a bottle to his routine and he's switching between bottle and boob without any confusion, giving Patty a bit of a break from the pillow fort. This week his attention span has increased to a full eight seconds and he's able to briefly support his head when turned on his stomach. Pretty much what every one month old should be able to do.

The boy continues to demonstrate huge hat wearing potential, with his head circumference growing a centimeter in just a week. I just hope the rest of his body will catch up, otherwise he's doomed to spend his life looking like one of the Pep Boys.

Oh they grow up so fast, don't they?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Came Back Early For This?

I had to travel to San Francisco earlier this week for work, and instead of coming back on Wednesday I booked a flight back for Tuesday evening. Even though Patty's Parents were staying with us, I didn't want to abandon her for too long.

At 2:23 AM this morning, while watching Harris pee all over himself on the change table I thought, "I could have had one more night of uninterrupted sleep, but instead I rushed back home to this?"

I wouldn't have missed this waterworks show for anything.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Games People Play

"You should play with the boy. Interact with him. That's how he learns."

You mean patting him on the head while I read the paper isn't good enough?

Actually I play with Harris all the time. I bounce him, swing him, talk to him in English and Chinese, and sing to him (although Carl Perkins seems to make him cry). What I have trouble with is speaking in baby-talk and playing baby-games like Peek-a-Boo with him: Where's Harris? Where's Harris? There he is. Patty's a natural, but I'm still getting used to the whole thing.

I recognize the fact baby-games help him develop cognitive skills so I am trying, and he really does seem to enjoy them. So Harris and I made a deal. I'll play Peek-a-Boo with him and in exchange he plays Scrabble with me. Currently I'm mopping the floor with him. I'm 34-1 at Peek-a-Boo (don't even ask how I lost that one game) and 22-0 at Scrabble. He can protest all he wants but "bihskgr" is not a real word.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Prom Date for Harris

My co-worker Christine has gave birth yesterday to a bouncing baby girl. The 7 pound, 9 ounce, 21 inch long Baby Elise. Congratulations Christine and Aaron! Read more on her blog:


Baby clothes are pretty much function over form. Rarely is it well styled (unless you really like cute - if so you've got bigger problems) but it does serve its purpose of keeping baby warm and protected.

If that's the primary purpose of baby clothes, then who is the idiot who created the 15 snap sleeper? That's right 15 snaps! For a baby that is 54 cm long? Who's kicking and writhing and waving his arms? That's about one snap every half inch. What possible function does that serve other than some designer's sick joke? It takes forever to put together - like a far less satisfying jig-saw puzzle - and with so many snaps it's hard to get them lined up, and so you have to open the sleeper and start again. Hmph!

On the plus side the soft, flannel fabric makes an ideal rag.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Week Three Report

Today has been a challenging day. Harris was extremely fussy. He was up from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm eating, dozing, eating, crying, dozing, soiling, crying, eating, dozing, crying - frustrating. Patty has shown the patience of Job, tending, feeding and soothing him without losing her cool. I've taken my shifts too, changing, rocking and burping. But just when we think we've got his pattern figured out he defies us; it has been a long morning. We thought he might be colic, with all his fussing and crying. This evening's been better.

Otherwise things are good. He's now passed his birth weight by a couple ounces and staring to get chubby. He's grown little man-boobs and I even noticed some cellulite on his thighs. Nothing luposuction can't fix when he's older. His hair is coming in, looks like he's going to have a hairline like Dad's, which is impressive if I do say so myself. He's in a feed-like-crazy phase right now, which on one hand is great because it means he's growing, but hard on Patty (the sole food source right now) because he seems permanently attached to her. Might introduce a bottle this week.

My friend Mark told me being a parent is really rewarding. Now that Harris has arrived I find it's true. Not because he's my spawn, it's because we get to watch him develop and grow a little bit everyday. Corny as it sounds, it's really cool.

Some Kind of Monster

Friday night was family video night. Harris, Patty and I settled in and watched Some Kind of Monster, a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of metal-band Metallica's newest album St. Anger. As much as I appreciate everything Metallica has achieved, none of us are actually Metallica fans (Harris rated the music: two crappy diapers), but you don't have to like the music to love this movie.

It's not so much a movie about the band as it is about trust and relationships. Lines like, "I hear what your saying and this is how it makes me feel" usually has me pushing the eject button on the DVD player, but juxtaposed against the fact this is Metallica, the "IT" metal band of the last decade, it is downright funny.

Be warned, the movie is long (over two hours), but it's a great way to kill time if you have a baby to nurse.

Chick Magnet

I'd always heard that a wedding ring was a "Chick Magnet." As the theory goes, woman can't resist a married man because it shows that he's ready to commit. That never made any sense to me, doesn't the ring mean he's already committed? Anyways after almost 10 years of marriage I can say without any hesitation that the theory is bunk; if anything it's a Chick Repellent. Not that I was ever looking, but it's fun to test theories.

Babies are supposed to have the same effect, women flock around you've got a baby in tow. At least this is according to Joey and Chandler on "Friends", not exactly a journal of scientific fact and conjecture I know, but I'm not picky. Today my friend Eric and I were walking the boy and hey!! Women love stopping us and peeking into the stroller. If only I had a thing for 70+ year old women I'd be set.

Alternate Theory
Women don't like me - it's like being in high school all over again.

Alternate, Alternate Theory
Women don't like Eric. I like this theory best.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Patty's New Toy

Tired of being stuck behind a pillow fort, Patty excitedly brings home a Zenoff Brest Friend Nursing Pad (what's with the spelling (brest), a typo too late to change? Proof-read people, proof-read) from Room for Two Maternity. You can also get it at Hip Baby, but it's $15 more there; East Van verus West Van, what do you expect.