Very serious hormones

“You couldn’t get me the big bag of Twizzlers?”

“Are you serious?!?”

“I am couped up in this house, raising your daughter, completely shut off from the outside world and sometimes I feel like Twizzlers are the only thing that I have.”


“I’m serious.”

Second Degree

I tested for my second degree black belt this past Saturday. For the past two months I had been extremely nervous about this test. All went well and surprisingly, I wasn’t half as nervous as I had anticipated.

The most difficult part was reciting, in Korean, the famous poem by Jeong Mong-ju.

Getting my second degree was my goal when I started Tae Kwon Do again after taking a nine year hiatus upon moving to Austin. It felt good to reach that goal.

Call Child Protective Services

In an effort to keep Maly from slicing her face open or scraping out an eyeball, I try to keep her fingernails trimmed down.

Last night she was fidgety and I was rushing as I thought of myself as a seasoned baby nail trimmer since I’ve performed this duty a whole two times previously.

Her entire body jerked when the flesh on her thumb was bitten through by the clippers. She screamed. Elise shreaked. Tears immediately poured from my daughter’s eyes and the look on her face said nothing other than, “Why would you ever want to hurt me, Daddy?”

There’s gotta be some kind of award for this.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month one

Dear Maly,

You are now one month old. It’s almost impossible to believe that four weeks ago you became the oxygen-breathing miniature replica of me. Except for your tongue. That’s all from your mom.

One of my idiosyncrasies is that I have absolutely no short-term memory. However, I remember the day that you were born like it was only four weeks ago.

Your mom is a workaholic. She took no time off from work while pregnant with you. On Friday, April 14th, I woke up at 7 a.m., rolled over in bed to look at your mom. She was awake. She looked at me and said, “I’m having contractions.” I stayed in from work that morning to wait and see if we were going to the hospital. By the time I got out of the shower, your mom said, “Just go to work, I’ll be fine. We’re not having this baby today.”

I went to work and called your mom throughout the course of the day to check on her. She contracted all day and experienced “early labor” while fulfilling her job requirements as catering director.

I let my staff go home early that afternoon because it was the start of Easter weekend. This allowed me to go home and treat the deck in the back yard. I wanted to get this project done because I knew you would be coming soon and I wouldn’t have much time after your arrival for projects that required substantial time. Since this was the first time I had ever applied a water sealant to the deck, I had no clue as to what I was doing.

Dad got really high on solvent. Reeeeeeeal high.

Your mom came home from work at 8:30 p.m. and almost immediately her contractions strengthened and increased in frequency.

At some point your mom went to the restroom where she lost her mucous plug. If you watch the first fifteen minutes of “Saving Private Ryan”, you’ll have a better understanding of this.

It was at that point that I called the hospital. The on-call doctor called me back. I informed the doctor of the length and frequency of the contractions. She told us to go to the hospital.

Your mom could no longer stand up without support during a contraction. We loaded up our bag and headed to the hospital. Mom did her “hee hee hee whooooos” in the passenger seat while I drove and realized that life as I knew it would never be the same.

“Talk” by Coldplay played on the radio when we were on the way to the hospital. I don’t know why I remember that. Maybe because Gweneth Paltrow is married to Coldplay’s singer and they named their first child Apple. I was seriously thinking about telling everyone that we named you Kiwi Zenilda.

We arrived at the emergency room at 10:45 p.m. We were admitted and your mom was being examined by 11 p.m. We were informed that we were having this baby soon. Very soon.

Your mom and I were moved from triage to our labor and delivery room. Your mom felt most comfortable contracting while sitting in the rocking chair in our room. In between contractions our labor and delivery nurse and the charge nurse attempted to insert an IV into your mom’s arms for fifteen minutes. They kept poking her and poking her to no avail. Your mom then said one of the sexiest things that I have ever heard come out of her mouth:

“I have to poo really bad.”

Apparently bringing one of the most beautiful things in the world to life is synonymous with taking a grunt.

“You don’t need to poo, sweetie, you need to have a baby”, our nurse informed us.

Your mom went into active, pushing labor at midnight. You were born at 12:49 a.m. on Saturday, April 15. You wanted out fast. Apparently you have an agenda.

You were a little jaundiced for your first couple days of life. We let you sleep in the sun from the window for a few minutes here and there. There were a few requirements that had to be met before we could leave the hospital. You had to poop and pee, we had to name you and your doctor and your mom’s doctor had to check on you two.

We both knew you were going to be a girl without having been told so by a medical professional. We had a long list of girl names and would have been in a real naming bind had you come out as a boy.

I was hell bent on naming you at some point that day. It came down to Abigail (Abby) or Katherine (Katy). You didn’t look like an Abby or a Katy. You mom asked, “What about Maly?”, a name I had come up with when we found out your mom was pregnant. And so it was.

Both sets of your grandparents came to our house to meet you and shower your with kisses. They also helped your mom and I with meals and keeping up the house. Your grandparents are amazing people and you will learn to love them very much. If not, you’re going to be out of luck when we want to get rid of you for a week.

Feeding you has been the most difficult for you and your mom so far. Your mom is nursing you and for the first three weeks you were having problems “latching on”. All of the nurses who helped the two of you during our three days in the hospital were great and dispensed great advice, but none of which seemed to work. The on-staff lactation consultant was also an invaluable resource but again, her advice didn’t work for your mom.

As you began growing, you needed more milk. We thought your mom couldn’t produce enough or you just weren’t eating. We decided to give you formula. We later found out that that was a very bad decision. We hired a renowned lactation consultant who came to our house and was finally able to show you and your mom how to nurse to where you were actually getting substantial food.

It was prior to achieving lactation nirvana that your dad watched you all by his self while your mom and Christine went out to dinner. I was trying to make myself double decker tacos for dinner when you woke up from being asleep for three minutes in your aquarium swing and started screaming. I picked you up and shhhhh’d you while I made four ounces of formula for you.

I fed you all four ounces because I knew that would make you pass out and then I could finish my double decker tacos and watch basketball. I dropped you off in your crib and turned on your baby monitor. You slept for five minutes before I heard your whimpering cry through the monitor. I went into your room to check on you to find you, your mattress and your crib bumper soaked with white formula puke.

It was at that point that my heart first broke over you. I was ashamed and pissed at myself. I kept thinking, “I’m a terrible father. Maly could have drowned in her own vomit.”

I’m glad we stopped feeding you formula. You now require very frequent feedings but I know your mom wouldn’t want it any other way. We love you so much and want nothing but the best for you.

I love you so much that I saved your umbilical cord stub. It’s actually pretty disgusting. It’s a dried up piece of rotten flesh but it’s of you. Every single little thing about you means everything in the world to me.

So far I’ve been faring well with changing your diapers, although your mom does 89% of the changings. Yesterday you gave your mom the best first Mother’s Day present ever. At 8 a.m. we both heard you clench, squeak and shart so hard that your yellowish brown liquid poo shot out of your diaper and up the length of your back, stopping just short of the base your head.

This might happen to you again in your adult life. If it does, pray that you’re alone.

I love you more than basketball and double decker tacos,


Uppity racism

Actual conversation with the wine monger at the grand opening of the Escarpment Village HEB:

“Are you a dry white guy?”

“Nope. Just a plain ol’ honky.”

33 Reasons Why We Should Be Award-Winning Parents

  1. If your Grandma wasn’t there, we’d probably just let you drown while we talked about digital photography and video.
  2. Your Dad lobbed the tip of your thumb while trying to clip your fingernails. And you bled. And you screamed. A lot.
  3. Your Dad fell asleep on the couch with an open beer sitting on the coffee table.  He only took one sip from said beer before he conked out.  You woke up early Sunday morning, walked about the house and found Dad’s beer from the night prior.  We don’t know how much, if any, beer your actually drank.   You did manage to cover the front of your pajamas though.  And you asked your Mom and I if we had any cigarettes.
  4. Mom has had difficulties producing enough breast milk. Dad said, “That’s okay, we’ll just fill her up with formula so she’ll fall asleep.” After two days of implementing Dad’s Thinking, Mom consulted the professionals only to find out that Dad’s Thinking was the absolute worst idea in the world.
  5. I’m not going to name names but someone drank a margarita or two and then nursed you.
  6. On more than one occasion, Dad forgot to wipe front to back.
  7. We let you fall flat on your face.
  8. “Lemme give her some scotch. That’ll satiate her.”
  9. An elbow to the brow will only make you cry louder.

10,000 Days

Tool‘s sixth album, 10,000 Days was released today and yours truly has been anxiously awaiting this day for months. I’d been keeping close tabs on album and tour date information and learned that the album was leaked two weeks ago. I made no plan to download the leaked album. Besides, I know that Tool always provides a little something more when you purchase the CD – like stereoscopic lenses “to enhance the artwork experience of the 10,000 Days package”.

Matt and I had a discussion recently about the ways in which we purchase our music. I prefer to buy online for the sake of convenience. He prefers to go to the store and feel and see and smell the packaging. The 10,000 Days packaging is really cool and I’m sure I looked like I should ride the shortbus as I was sitting in the truck in the Target parking lot, looking through the stereoscopic lenses at images of science and of the occult.

It’s been almost three years since I last purchased a music CD. Another oddity is that I bought 10,000 Days for $9.98. If it were carried in the iTunes Music Store, it would be $9.99. I was geared to pay $17.99 for the CD. I guess the band, like most, will make money by selling concert tickets for $100. And I will pay that because how can I not support my favorite band that provides stereoscopic lenses for the purpose of package enhancement?


I’ve been banging my head against the wall, asking Elise, asking Riley, asking Maly, “What can I write about?”

I have nothing. Zilch. Nada.

It’s hard to maintain any sort of outward social conciousness or wit when you have a human in your house that is not capable of holding her own head up and warrants a tangible document to journal her stools.

Instead of littering with daily updates on how Maly (MAY-lee) did the cutest little thing today and journaling shart density, I’ve decided to publish a monthly letter to Maly on or around the 15th of the month.

Daily poop reports and recounts of the birthing process I will leave up to Elise. Don’t expect many reports because even though I love my kid, the notion of human fecal excrementation still makes your humble narrator queasy. Elise is the only one who can feed which leaves her with little time outside of nourishing and dealing with seedy yellow sharts.

Seedy Yellow Sharts would be an awesome name for a band.