The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flushable Diapers

"Look Harris, we put your poo and pee in this here ceramic receptacle, then we flush. Now try it without your diaper. "

Toilet training technique of the future? Doubt it, but I am excited about gDiapers, an Australian diaper that you can flush down the toilet, or compost in your garden. The company's website is bit over enthusiastic, but if you read past that there's a good concept here, one I'd love to try. They've just set-up shop in North America, but who knows when they'll make it to Canada.

Patty and I still really like using cloth diapers, and the boy doesn't mind them either. But when we're travelling cloth becomes a pain in the ass, yet we hate the thought of tossing diapers in the trash. gDiapers seem like the perfect solution for us.

According to their website, decomposition appears to rely on there being a sewage treatment facility in the city. So people in Victoria you're sh*t out of luck, literally.

Thanks to DaddyTypes for the gDiaper news.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wet At The Other End

I guess Harris' little brain can only hold so much information at one time, because as soon as he discovered his hands, he forgot his lips. So now he's reaching for things and holding on to them, which is adorable, but from his mouth - Drool-O-Rama, which is less adorable. It's like the leaky faucet that you can't turn off, a steady stream of saliva oozes from between his lips.

His latest fashion accessory? A bib.

What I'm Doing With My *Free* Time

The boy eats away at my time, but I am trying to squeeze a few hobbies in when I can.

After playing the drums for over 30 years - touring, recording and performing - I've decided to learn how to play the guitar. Not that I have dreams of becoming a great guitarist, I'm a drummer at heart (can't wait to get the boy his first pair of sticks!), I just want to play to Harris; I figure that wailing on my drumkit while singing "Wheels on the Bus" is a bad idea. It's going fairly well all in all. I have lots of guitar playing friends that have been helping me, and my friend William is also learning, so I have someone to commiserate with.

How's it going? Whenever I play to Harris he cries. Better keep practicing.

Before Harris was born I was in three bands, now that's been trimmed back to one, She Was The Law. Funny how things like this happen when a baby makes the scene. I took a three month hiatus right after his birth but back at it now. We'll probably start gigging again next year.

I've created a food photo and restaurant review site with friends William and Eric called, a site for posting pictures and reviews of your meals. Based on a road-trip I took 20 years ago, where I only photographed my food for two weeks. The site has been up for a couple months now, and we're already getting decent traffic. There's lots of room for improvement but it's just a hobby so it will take time to get it all running smoothly. If you have a chance, go take a look, submit a meal, we'd love your feedback. It's also a great excuse to take Harris to restaurants.

I'm also slowly learning to speak French. We want to enroll Harris in French Immersion when he starts school, and figured it would be a good idea of one of us could speak with him. I'm speaking Chinese to him at the moment. Patty's kind of supportive, "No wonder he doesn't smile at you as much, he doesn't understand you." Thanks honey.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

In Your Dreams!

I had a meeting at work last week with a business analyst who will be doing a project for us. She's due early February, but the project runs until March 31.

"I don't think the baby will be a problem. They nap, so I can get work done then."

Uh, yeah, first baby right? I may only have three months parenting under my belt, but I can safely say that it's not quite as easy as that. She's a capable woman and I'm sure she'll be a great mom, but I have this feeling that it's not going to be as simple as she thinks it will be.

I think I'm going to build some slack into her timeline, y'know, just in case...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Three Month Round Up

Last Sunday was Harris' three month birthday. To celebrate he spent the entire day eating, peeing, playing and sleeping - wish my birthdays were like that. The day also marked his graduation from newborn status to infant.

So far he is proving to be fairly laid back. Oh sure he can be fussy, and sometimes he is just downright pissed-off, but his overall demeanor is pretty easy going. He adapts to just about anything we throw at him; parties, restaurants, hockey games, he doesn't even care when his diaper's wet. Although he just loves getting changed, but then again, what man doesn't like attention lavished in that area?

In fact there are only a few things I can think of that really send him over the edge; getting woken up, being strapped into the car seat (he's fine once he is in) and spending any time on his stomach. We try to flip him tummy-side a few times a day to help him develop motor skills, but after just a few seconds he starts bawling. Looks like his career as a -- what jobs do you do on your stomach? Well whatever they are he's not cut out for it.

He's now a little over 13 lbs and his weight gain has begun to taper to about half an ounce a day. He's also discovered his hands, and the cause and effect that pounding the crap out of a plush octopus will make it rattle. As well as how to hold things, and by grabbing onto a tentacle he can really make that octopus pay!

But the absolutely coolest thing of all so far is Harris is starting to laugh. He's been smiling for a few weeks, but up until now they were only accompanied by a squeal. Now we get a real laugh out of him. He's the greatest audience I've ever had. Corny as they are, all my jokes click with him.

Q: What do you call a bear with 20 lb testicles?
A: Genital Ben

Cracks him up everytime.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Creative Parenting or Just Plain Mean?

An Oklahoma City Mom, tired of her daughter's lackluster performance in school made her hold a sign beside a busy street with the words, "I didn't do my homework, so I'm preparing for my future. Will work for food."

Mom Makes Teen Stand on Street With Sign.

Nice. I have my own child rearing method, Raise Your Child Like You Raise Your Cats. More on that later.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Can We Come Out And Play?

Last week Dread Pirate Robert and the Diaper Dame managed to have a baby-free night of musical fun and frolic, catching four bands play at Richards on Richards. When the boy was born I pretty much stopped perusing the concert listings, residing myself to the fact that Patty and I wouldn't be seeing any live music, or doing anything without Harris, for a while.

Tonight one of our favourite bands are in town, The Dandy Warhols. They don't come around very often, and who knows when they'll be back. The show was announced weeks ago and I just wasn't paying attention. The same thing happened when Eels came in the summer. You'd think I'd learn my lesson then, but everyday I have a chance to look at the concert listings and everyday I choose to ignore them.

What are we, dead?

I guess when you're first-time parents you brace yourself a life of baby, baby, baby and nuthin' but baby. Now we know better. If we really want to do something together without the boy, it takes a bit of effort and arranging, but it is totally possible. Yeah, I think I'm going to start reading those concert listings again.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Uh... Let's Talk About Something Else

My mother has an unhealthy obsession with Harris' bowels (but in a good way, not in a Chuck Berry way). She's convinced that if the boy doesn't rumble once a day there's something wrong. Volumes of empirical data later, we've managed to convince her that it's normal for breastfed babies to go days without a movement; but she's still obsessed. Whenever she's visiting it's poo this and poo that; he's fussy because of poo, he's not taking his bottle because of poo, he's uncomfortable because of poo.

Even on the phone it's out of hand.

"Hi Mom."

"Has he pooed yet?"
"I'm fine. How are you?"

"How many days since his last movement?"
"Yea the weather is okay, bit overcast."

"Do I hear him crying. He probably has to go."
"Work's good. Got a big project coming up."

At the same time she is a Master Toilet Trainer (really, she's amazing), so maybe the two traits just go hand in hand.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tales From The Crib

A few weeks ago we moved the boy out of his bassenette, out of our room and into a crib. By about 6 weeks old he was hitting the sides and waking himself up, which invariably led to crying, which invariably led to us waking up. Now in the crib he can do the Horizontal Watusi all night long and never come close to hitting the sides. And the boy likes his new digs! He took to it right away and has never looked back. Then a week last Friday something strange happened.

It was 4:00 am and I got up to go to the bathroom, I peeked in on Harris sleeping soundly. At 6:00 am I expected him to be feeding, nope. Finally at 7:00 am he wakes. I look at Patty, she looks at me, we both look at the clock.

"Did you feed him last night?" "No I thought you did." Uh, yeah, my boobs don't really work that way.

Harris had slept through the night!

And since then he has consistently put in 6-8 hours of sleep every night. We don't know how it happened. Other than not bringing him into our bed anymore we were still feeding on demand, he just stopped demanding. Whoo Hoo!

But despite the sleep, for some funny reason we're still exhausted...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Baby Trekker

This morning I successfully slung Harris into our Baby Trekker. I'd tried it couple times before but he was too small and lacked the neck strength back then to do anything but cry and scratch the hell out of my chest (note to self: wear a shirt). Today he was having a Gay-Ole-Time, kicking and laughing and checking things out. He definitely has a preference for the "facing-out" position over the "facing-in" position. He's a boy who wants to party with the world, or maybe it's because I hadn't showered yet.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Secrets of the Joy Division Revealed!

I think this is how babies are made everywhere, but the process seems 'happier' in Germany.

Thanks to Greg at Daddytypes for uncovering this gem from PlanetDan.

Or follow this direct link to Where Babies Come From in German.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Baby Whisperer

As I said previously in Games People Play, I have trouble speaking in baby-talk and playing baby-games. It just seems, I dunno, embarrassing. But I have been trying. Even though I'm way out of my comfort zone I think I've been doing pretty good, "gooing" and "gaaing" and playing with the best of them. Then my mother comes to visit.

She can calm Harris when he's fussy, put him to sleep when he's wired and make him smile when he's sad. I really thought I was doing well, but Mom is all googly and sing-songy and cutesey, and Harris just laps it up. He can't get enough and in just two days I think he likes her better than he likes me.

Yeah, well, she can't teach him how to throw a ball - so there.