The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Steamy Goodness - Avent Express

At first I thought this was kind of a novelty, but we got one as a baby gift. The Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer. I don't usually promote 'stuff', but I have to give credit where credit is due, this bad-boy kicks ass!

Hmmm... yeah I might be getting a little too excited about a baby bottle sterilizer, but when you've got ten things on the go and a crying baby in the next room, you really come to appreciate the little things. Stack whatever you want to sterilize in the tub, pop it in your microwave and move on. No need to stand over the stove watching a pot boil and steam.

I haven't tried using it yet to cook vegatables, but you know I'm going to try.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Name Them For The Future?

Name your kids for their future, not their present.

The quintessential baby naming rule-of-thumb, and a dilemma every new parent faces.

Do you:

a) Name them something unique, but possibly freakish to other children. Let them endure years of teasing to become one of those hip adults with the nifty, memorable name?

b) Name them something common and safe. They'll fit in easier at school, and when they become adults they may not stand out, but they won't be any further behind.

Choosing option "A" though doesn't guarentee the problems end when your kids become adults.

A little while back Patty and I met up with some friends for dinner. It was a big group and we didn't know everyone there. We slowly made our way around the new group, exchanging introductions, shaking hands etc. The last guy's name I couldn't make out, we were standing on a busy street so I asked again.

"It's spelled like (mumble-mumble) with an (mumble)."

Hmmm... should I ask him to repeat it again? Nope. "Uh... hey that's a cool name!"

After dinner I couldn't stopping singing, "There was a boy who had a dog and Bango was his name-o.

B A N G O and Bango was his name-o."

Finally Patty asks, "Why are you singing that anyways?"

"Because of that guy, Bango."


"His name, it sounds like that kid's song. Y'know Bingo."

"His name is Mengo."

"No it's spelled Mango with a 'B', that's what he told me."

"It's Mango with an 'E', his name is Mengo."

I sat next to Mengo at dinner, and all night long I called him Bango. I felt like an idiot.

Moral of the story: If you're going to name your children something unique, teach them to speak up.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


My mother came to town Saturday so we could go to a wedding. The first time in nine weeks we've been anywhere as a couple without him - it was liberating. Now we actually drag the boy's ass everywhere by choice - we want him to experience stuff, but I have to admit that it was a nice change.

As an added bonus the wedding was a Sikh wedding. We'd never been to one and it was neat-o. All the men had to wear hankerchiefs on their heads pirate-style and the women had to wrap scarves over their heads. Everyone sat on the floor, the ceremony was fascinating and music was fantastic - especially the hand drummer. He puts those annoying, bongo-playing street kids to shame. I have tons of respect for hand drummers, and lots of sympathy of street kids, but put the two together and it's aural torture. Kids, if you're going to haul a drum around with you everywhere, learn to play. Okay getting side-tracked here.

The wedding wrapped up around 1:30pm. When we got home Mom offered to stay one more night so we could go out for dinner, just Patty and me. Don't have to ask us twice! Cosy dinner at the Aurora Bistro, a nice bottle of Cabernet Franc, cool ambience, delicious plates; our first true adult evening in months (being pregnant doesn't count). If you're interested the meal is posted on

And to top it off, when we got home Harris was bathed, fed and asleep. Thanks Mom!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You Talkin' To Me?

Harris has discovered his voice over the last few days. Very cool. And for the first time the other day the boy took notice of something I did. I was growling in my deepest Barry White voice, and Harris starts smiling and squealing and kicking in delight. If only he's this easy to please when he turns 16.

H: Dad, can I borrow the car?

Me: Grrrrrrr.

H: Heeeeee... Ha Ha Ha... forget about it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Harris Comes Out

In the Chinese culture, when a baby reaches its one month birthday it's time to Paar-Taay!

Way back it was believed that a baby's chances of survival grew ten-fold if they can make past the one month mark. Until that milestone, the mother and baby are not allowed to leave their house, and only the very privileged can visit - why tempt fate exposing the babe to germs, fresh air, and sunshine? After one month the two were allowed outside and the entire village was invited for a banquet.

Nowadays, while a freaky few still honour the one-month-lockdown tradition, the milestone just is just an excuse to get together, eat, drink and pass around lucky money. Last Sunday Oct 9th was Harris' big day. It also was the boy's very first road trip to Victoria.

Dressed in a jaunty Doggy Suit that made him look like a lighter Rowlf from the Muppet Show, Harris was enthralled with the Ferry trip to Victoria. Bright lights, lots of people, the smell of salt air and cafeteria food; come to think of it I don't know why I'm not more enthralled.

We arrived around 8:00pm and promptly sat down for a turkey dinner. I'm not sure if my parents so much wanted to feed us, or distract us so they could play with the boy. Either way we welcomed the food and the break. After dinner we were sequestered to my parent's room for the night. It doesn't get any weirder sleeping in your parents' bed with your wife and son. Explains the crazy theological dreams I had through the night, and I'm not religious. Anyways the four of us (Patty, Harris, me and Jesus) manage to squeeze into their double bed and get to sleep.

Sunday Oct. 9th
6:00am. There's excitement in the air and Harris was pumped, too pumped. Over the course of the next 14 hours he cat-napped a total of two. His routine was interrupted too; strange room, strange people, lots of driving and visiting. By the time the big Chinese banquet rolled around he was wired and cranky. The fact he hadn't pooped for three days didn't help either.

"The celebration is in a restaurant?!? How am I going to feed him? I'm not whipping out my boob with 60 people watching." Oh yeah, didn't think that one all the way through. "It's a restaurant, so they can set-up a privacy screen or something for you to hide behind. I'll get Dad to arrange it."

5:30pm. "So where is the privacy screen?" "Oh, she can sit in the DJ Booth." "!" Good thing neither is claustrophobic because the booth was two feet by three feet. Patty was a good sport about it, and Harris didn't care. Otherwise friends and family were thrilled to finally meet Harris. He managed to calm down during the meet n' greet portion of the program, before making sure neither of us ate any dinner. A mouthful here, a mouthful there, several trips to the DJ booth and it was time to go home.

8:30pm. Changed, bathed, fed and soothed Harris finally sleeps, and doesn't stir for almost seven hours. Deprived of dinner, we rustle up some chow for ourselves.

Oct 10th
10:00am. The boy has just thundered his drawers, and his fussiness disappears almost as quickly; he's positively serene. A quick visit to the Great-Grandmas (who were ecstatic to see him), we pack up and head to the Ferry. Bowels emptied, excitement over, Harris sleeps almost the entire trip back. Patty and I eat Cheezies (a Canadian original) from the vending machine.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It's The Season

Harris caught his first cold yesterday. Started early and got progressively snottier as the day wore on. By 4:00 am this morning he was in our bed, trying to feed and breath through his mouth, which made him gasp like Eraserhead's Baby. Sleep deprived and immune surpressed, the cold made it past my defences and into my nose.

I'm ever so pissed - I rarely get sick.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You

Thursday Harris went to our doctor's office to get his first vaccinations. Most of his 'firsts' so far have been very cool, this one was shaping up to be not so much. It was a day we were not looking forward to - three needles in the meaty part of his thigh plus the lingering effects of eight vaccines. In the end the boy came through like a champ. The needles hurt but he didn't go ballistic the way we thought he would; there was crying though.

I'm not an emotional guy, but I have to admit it was heartbreaking to watch. I think Patty shed more tears than Harris did.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Meet The Other Kids

Right up till the moment we left for the hospital our two cats were the center of attention, and we gave them lots of it. Now that Harris is on the scene they've taken a backseat. Initially they had trouble adjusting - extra hard rubbing, increased playfulness, disturbingly well placed vomit - but now they've accepted Harris as part of the family; although I think they're plotting something. And we've gotten our baby-groove on too, so we're spending time with them again.

Orange Cat - 14 years old
Orange Cat has got bags of personality, adaptable and I'm confident possesses cognitive thinking - I've actually watched her use a doorknob to open a door. Really couldn't care less we brought a cherub home to stay. As long as she's fed, litter box cleaned and gets stroked now and then she's happy.

Foot Foot - 12 years old
Foot Foot is uber-cute, kittenesque but otherwise she's pretty much an idiot. While she never showed any aggression, she ran every time Harris was around. She's starting to come over to the Harris-side, but still choked at sharing the lime-light.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rusty's Whereabouts Discovered

Back when I was a kid, "The Friendly Giant" was the children's program to watch. Along with Mr. Dressup the shows packed the one-two punch I needed to get through the day.

The Friendly Giant featured a Giant who played the recorder and hung out with his two pals Jerome the Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster. The giraffe and the 'giant' stood eye to eye, that made sense. But the Rooster was proportionately in scale with the giant, which meant that Rusty was one giantic chicken!

After they cancelled the program I always just assumed the giant stayed in his castle, Jerome moved back to Africa, but where did Rusty the freakishly huge rooster go? It's not like you wouldn't notice a giant rooster walking down the street.

Polanski discovered him living in Armidale, Australia.