Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We all know that torture to elicit vital information (tactics such as electric shock or water boarding), are not sanctioned by the Geneva Convention, and for obvious good reasons. Likewise, tactics that once were considered sure-fire ways to convince a combatant to 'give up the goods', such as bamboo shoots under the fingernails, foot roasting, or being slowly drawn and quartered, are neither sanctioned nor practiced by civilized nations in this day and age.
But I have an interesting new suggestion. When faced with a situation requiring the most extreme truth-eliciting methods, the modern-day interrogator can set aside the Metallica discs, discard those bamboo shoots, empty out the tub of water and instead pull out a...
Yes, a diaper of all things. Based on recent research in our house, the mere act of changing a diaper can turn even the most even-tempered and pain resistant person into a writhing, screaming, kicking, and protesting subject who would do anything, or say anything (within personal limitations, of course) to get you to stop.
I know what you are thinking. "It seems so inhumane". But folks, I can assure you that it's not. The pain associated with this new method is not physical, but rather mental and should not result in any lasting physical effects.
That being said, I will need additional research to determine if there is any long term mental scarring associated to this act.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
The life sized skull stares at me with hollow eyes as I pass through the foyer. The hovering hoard of hanging bats flutter gently in the breeze generated by my walk to the fridge. The strings of spiders still cling to my island light fixture, blending neatly with what must be more than a few real ones by now.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Ok, so I'm not talking about a new Plasma TV. Heck, I don't even have cable, not to mention the spare cash to fork over for one of those. Although I have to admit that that would be a nice way to watch my movies at home. Someday.
What I am talking about though, is a PlasmaCar. This toy car was voted a winner in the 2008 Fat Brain toy awards. And deservedly so, I must say.
While checking out an indoor community play area with Lukas yesterday, Mrs. LIAFY and I happened upon a couple of these cars and since the wide open space was otherwise empty, we took them for a spin around the play room. We ended up riding them for several minutes while Luke busied himself with toys his own age (the car is for 3 years and over), and we had a blast!
These cars are operated by inertia, centrifugal force, gravity & friction, so no pedaling or pushing is involved. Just hop on, turn the wheel, and spin around the room. Backwards, forwards, hairpin turns, you name it we were able to do it with these amazing little cars. I had never heard of a PlasmaCar before yesterday, but I was instantly hooked. All you need is a smooth, flat surface and you are ready to roll, continuously!
The heck with buying one for your kids, I recommend you go out and buy one for yourself. You'll definitely feel like a kid again. I sure did.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Although Luke looks a bit startled and wasn't smiling, we were pretty happy with how this picture turned out. After all, he wasn't crying despite strangers messing with him. Being a handsome boy helps quite a bit too. The photographer did a good job of getting him to sit still and get his attention which is something we have extreme difficulty doing ourselves. Kudos to them.
Scary Mommy recently posted a call out to bloggers to show the good, the bad, and the ugly school photos they have stored away. Since this is Lukas' first picture day and it turned out fairly nice, for me it qualifies as the Good.
Now, for the Bad - Mrs. LIAYF generously allowed me to post her high school marching band photo from 1985, freshman year (yes, she was a band geek):
Personally, I think she's adorable. Mrs. LIAYF, however, cringes whenever she sees this lovely photo. Note the big feathered hair (not as big as other girls' hair - she went to high school in Kentucky), the high-riding band pants, the fabulous plaid sash, shiney wide belt, black ascot, and the "action" pose of her mallets. She informs me there was also an enormous black cowboy hat that went with this outfit (thankfully, not pictured). Freckles weren't cool yet, but this picture shows she had a ton (the marching band practiced outside a lot in the sun). This picture reminds me of Jodi Foster in "Freaky Friday" - she also played the glockenspiel. Mrs. LIAYF rocks this uniform, don't you think?
As for the Ugly, I pulled out this gem from my personal archives:
(If this kid comes along...You must whip it!)
Check out those phat burns! And the Devo style helmut head was a 1979 must have. Other great features highlighted in this school picture are the "snap it already!" fake half smile as well as the faded orangish purple tint. Finally, this shirt is a disco dream, calling out loudly to the ladies that it is worn by one very cool, and very available, dude (especially to one band geek - four years my junior and probably in grade school at this point).
Lukas has many years of school pictures ahead of him, but I'll go out on a limb here and say he won't be able to top this one for extreme nerd factor. Do you have any geeky photos of your own? Brave enough to post them? Go on over to Scary Mommy and post them. I dare you!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Given Lukas' yet to be fully resolved run in with some rather sinister bacteria, what was to be our first famiy vacation since his birth 16 long months ago didn't materialize. November sunshine and fresh air down south in Texas gave way to doctor visits, grey skies and flood warnings here in Washington. Not exactly what we had envisioned as that pick-me-up to build momentum and carry us through the long dark Winter months before the Spring begins again to rear its head (kinda like Putin) sometime in late March or early April.
In the place of a proper vacation, we have relaxed, completed projects around the house, had friends and family visit, and generally spent the time enjoying the company of our wonderful son. Everyday this week has been like a lazy Sunday for us, and it has been terrific. True, we would have liked to have slept in a bit longer (Fall Back is not a concept that a toddler sleep routine adapts to easily!), but that aside it has been a rare opportunity for both of us to be SAHP at the same time for an extended period.
Mrs. LIAYF and I have been able to interact on a more intimate level with Lukas given that the outside pressures of work and travel were alleviated. It has been amazing to be here to listen as his vocabulary seems to have exponentially taken off, and his understanding of the world around him blossoms. Each time I am witness to Luke saying a new word for the first time or demonstrating his growing understanding of the world around him by picking the right picture out of a series of photos when asked "where is the ...?", I feel as if I am privileged to be viewing something extraordinary happening.
I am not sure if it is because of who I am at this time in my life, because of how old I am as a first time father, or because I am a pretty boring guy in general, but to be here in the moment witnessing a child (my child) develop is nothing short of amazing. I may have missed a vacation, but just being able to spend the extra time with my son, especially when he is not feeling well, leaves me wanting nothing more.
Tomorrow, sadly, my week of Sundays will come to an end.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
On another note, Lukas is feeling much better today as well. He is in great spirits and his fever seems to be gone for good. He is, however, still walking gingerly on his left leg after a run in with a playground slide shortly after a follow-up visit to Children's hospital on Monday. I took him down the slide and his left leg got caught between mine and the slide on the way down. We initially thought his leg was broken given his tearful reaction as well as the fact he couldn't put weight on it for several hours afterwards. Thankfully, X-rays were negative for a fracture but it remains very tender a couple days later. This rookie dad feels pretty bad - next time I take him down a slide I'll make sure to hold his legs in!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Right now, in that alternate plane, we are indeed enjoying our visit to Dallas. We had a wonderful Halloween Night of trick-or-treating, birthday cake, and enjoyable conversation with friends we have not seen in a long time.
What really happened is much less appealing. Much less enjoyable for sure.
I had written my previous post Thursday morning, in anticipation of not having the time on Friday given my packed agenda. However, Thursday mid-morning I received a disturbing call from Mrs. LIAYF. Lukas had taken a turn for the worse, the swelling in his cheek began to grow much larger in the days since I left home. He was being admitted to Seattle Children's Hospital to have immediate surgery to drain what had become a frighteningly large abscess in his lymph node (confirmed by ultrasound and CT scans). The infection was bacterial and not viral after all.
I hopped the first flight out of Dallas Thursday afternoon, making it to Seattle in plenty of time before the surgery which was delayed until 10:30 PM Pacific time. The surgery was successful, and we were able to see him just after midnight, Halloween and (Birth)day. Worse yet, since the doctors were not sure what had caused the infection and Lukas had developed a strange rash on his arms, we were promptly put into a quarantined 8x10 room where we spent the next 36 hours. Luke was on IV antibiotics and we were set for a few days of worry. No sleep (nurses coming in every few hours to check Luke's IV and vitals), no trick-or-treating, no birthday cake. It was a true Halloween horror tale that we will never want to repeat.
The cultures came back this afternoon - a staph infection. We were finally released after the final determination. Lukas, true to form, was amazingly cooperative and stoic about all the poking, prodding, and inability to walk since the IV was in his right foot, and the foot strapped to a board. He spent most of the time in a little red wagon surrounded by toys (including a cute stuffed panda he was given in the ER - courtesy of Allie's Friends Foundation). All the nurses and doctors were genuinely amazed at his demeanor given his 16 month age. We, however, were not. He is a wonderful little boy, in this and every conceivable universe!
As crazy and painful as this holiday turned out to be, we are just blessed to be at home now with our brave little guy. We are also equally blessed to live so near the fabulous Children's Hospital. Despite the absence of cake and Halloween fun, Mrs. LIAYF insists that she got exactly what she wanted for her birthday - her family together and her little boy getting better. Please send us your thoughts and good karma. Lukas needs all he can get to help fight off this tough infection.