Thursday, September 30, 2010

Daily Squeak: Vuvuzela

Because his screaming is not loud enough to get our attention.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Daily Squeak: Nighttime

Shhh... Baby is sleeping. He's been sleeping most of the day since his
stupid parents completely sleep-deprived him for two days.

Baby's first hockey game. Sharks 3, Coyotes 1.

Emboldened by the fact that Nick did not have a meltdown when kept up past his bedtime the previous day, we decided to try taking him to a pre-season hockey game. Pre-season games are there for the team to debug its performance, test out different lines, and get ready for the regular season. Perfect opportunity to debug our "bring small infant to a loud sports arena" methods. People probably won't mind if the baby yells during the low-key pre-season game, but if he wails during some high-stress Sharks-Detroit game we might get lynched. So better get our routine down now.

Armed with the Baby Bjorn, diapers, a spare outfit, blankets, burp cloths, towels, earplugs for baby, and a bottle of milk, we set off at 6:45 with a happy, well-rested (three hour afternoon nap! oh yeah!) and well-fed baby.

At the Shark Tank. Nick is fascinated by all the people.

Nick was very happy in his carrier, and enjoyed saying hi to all our neighbors from previous year, whom we last saw when he was still internal.

Waiting for the game to start. Nick is all geared up. 

We had a small glitch where we didn't put Nick earplugs in fast enough and he got startled by the horn and the loud music when the teams came out on the ice. He then proceeded to wail during the National Anthem. Given that the whole stadium was quiet, I am sure they heard him all the way down on the ice. Um, Go Sharks!

Once his earplugs were in and well adjusted, he calmed down and enjoyed looking at the big screen.
Bright moving lights. So fascinating.

The customary second-period beer. Well milk.

Sharks score. Baby gets bounced. He would really like his milk back though.

Although we were prepared to have to leave after only one period if the kid was showing signs of misery, we actually managed to stay for the whole game. Nick watched the game, yelled a little when his earplugs came off, had a snack and went to sleep on my lap. We have a little hockey fan in the making. Go Sharks!

Palo Alto Moonlight Run and Walk

Nick went to his first Palo Alto Moonlight Run and Walk on Friday. The event is organized by the City of Palo Alto, and is either a 5K run/walk or a 10K run through the Palo Alto Baylands under the light of a harvest moon. We did the 5K walk since the jogger with baby seat on top is not extremely stable, and it seemed like a bad idea to run with it in the dark over uneven surfaces. Nick was awake for the vendor expo and the finish, and slept through the actual walking part.

Contemplating all the freebies before the start.

Nick got some beads. We took them away when
he started to eat them though.

Got our numbers. Waiting for the walk to start. 

Nick is wearing his running shoes.

Start line.

Kostadis is all wired to go. Must be that triple capuchino.

This is Nick's new expression. He usually makes
it when he is contemplating something. Here he
is getting ready to start the walk.

Harvest moon over the bay. Beautiful!

Super sleepy baby up way past his bedtime with his event t-shirt.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Daily Squeak: The first finger

Do not speak to me like this, young man! No video games for a month!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Daily Squeak: They are looking at me

Today's special Daily Squeak is a video. I have a feeling both my kid and my dog want me to provide some kind of entertainment for them. Maybe I should give them each a chew toy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Daily Squeak: Four ears

I find Nick's sweatshirt with doggie ears highly adorable. Especially
when his own ears stick out also.

Sunnyvale Baylands Hike

Did a 3.5 mile hike along the levies in the Sunnyvale Baylands. Saw lots of birds (and lots of birdwatchers). Nick was very cooperative and only yelled in the car on the way there. Dogs were also mostly cooperative, although they had to be leashed for a while when too many birds were around.

Hiking with a baby is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, Nick almost never fusses when in the Baby Bjorn. He either watches the scenery or sleeps. On the other hand, since he naps so well, he comes home nice and refreshed, while we come home tired and ready for some sleep. So the next several hours after the hike are a little difficult for the parents. 

Kostadis was the photographer this time, so I get some pictures of me on this blog.

The "Waste Management Facility". Yes, we start the hike at the dump.
More upscale places to hike are not dog-friendly.

Gotta check the pee-mail and read the pee-logs (plogs).

Not a rattlesnake.

The levies go through the saltwater marsh. The weather was cloudy but
quite warm and humid. 

Nick in his hiking attire.

On the trail. Tony was nice and walked with us. Polly was running
back and forth like a crazy dog.

Half way around the loop. Polly is looking a little tired.

Baby is off. I would think sleeping like this would be uncomfortable
but he doesn't mind and seems quite rested afterwards.

Polly left this trail of water behind.

Looking toward East Bay.

White pelicans. We also saw lots of egrets, cormorants, and herons.

Almost at the end. Notice that Polly and I are tired and Nick is
awake and alert. That is less than optimal.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Daily Squeak: Book

He spent a long time trying to eat the book. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Daily Squeak: Convenient handle

Umm, Kostadis, I don't think the sleep sack is supposed to be
used like that. Why do I think I am going to get phone calls from
grandparents for this picture...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Daily Squeak: Group stays

This is the long down exercise. Are you ready? Down your dogs. Leave your dogs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Daily Squeak: Peacock Toy

Yeah, we are starting to enter the "put everything in mouth" stage. The dogs have trained him well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Daily Squeak: Max the King

Hooded Where The Wild Things Are towel from the Mountain View Art and
Wine Festival.  Let the rumpus begin!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Daily Squeak: Supersqueak!

Tomato processing

Every spring, when I get ready to plant tomatoes, I promise myself that this time around I will only plant a few. Maybe two, at most three plants. But then I get to the nursery and of course I have to get the Romas because we need them for sauce, and the Beefsteaks because Kostadis likes them, and the Early Girls because we want tomatoes ASAP, and the cherries because I like them, and then maybe some more Romas because what if we run out. So every year we end up with the tomato jungle.
About half of the tomato jungle.

Inside the jungle. Every time I stick my hand
inside the tomato bush I briefly wonder if I will
get it back. It's dark and scary inside there.

The only problem with having so many tomatoes is that eventually your friends, co-workers, and random strangers on the street refuse to take them. Which brings us to the annual tomato-processing ritual, where the tomatoes are picked, ground up, and turned into ketchup. Ketchup preparation takes about four hours, most of which is spent running tomatoes through the food processor and then through a food mill to remove seeds. In fact, I believe at some point I said that it was worse than labor.

And then, one of my friends recommended that I get this:

This is a Velox Tomato Press. It changed my life. Tomatoes go in the top, and de-skinned, de-seeded tomato pulp comes out one side, and skins and seeds out the other. Processing about 15 lbs of tomatoes takes all of 40 minutes. Here we go.

The inputs. These are my Beefsteaks and Early Girls. I didn't weigh them (Nick was sleeping and the scale is in his room), but it should be about 15 lbs.

Washed and de-stemmed.

Err, what? No comment.

Blanched quickly in boiling water to split the skins.

Run through the tomato press. Pulp on the left, peels in front. I tend to run the peels though another time to get more pulp out.

Now you can do whatever you want with the crushed tomato pulp. Ketchup, sauce, whatever. Since I have a small demanding creature at home who can self-entertain for at most 20 minutes, I just put the pulp in ziplock bags and freeze it.

Done! Total time at most an hour. Velox Tomato Press, I love you.

P.S. You can get one of these from Amazon