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Calvin and I had some photos taken as a surprise for Eric for Father’s Day. The photographer, Tim Wheaton, is an old friend from elementary school. I saw some of his work on Facebook (where else?) and really loved it. I was a little worried that we wouldn’t end up with any good photos because Calvin was very serious and very squirmy through most of the shoot. But Tim did a great job and I’m so happy with the end result. Eric loved them, too. If you are in Southern California and want to get some pictures taken, give Tim a look – I recommend him highly.

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As of yesterday, Calvin is 6 weeks old. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by, and at the same time it feels like he’s been here forever.  I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s true.

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He’s going for longer stretches between feedings, especially at night, which is wonderful. We really only have one feeding in the middle of the night now -yay, Calvin! He still does really well in the car and stroller, but tends to be fussy in the evenings. He’s smiling periodically, although I haven’t been able to catch him on camera. It’s really sweet.

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He likes to look at things that are high-contrast, so anything that combines light and shade gets his attention. He really likes to watch hockey at night – I think it’s the white of the ice on the screen in the dark TV room (we usually watch TV with the lights off) – whatever the reason, he seems to pay attention to hockey longer than anything else, and we figure it’s good to get him started young!

We’re enjoying having Eric’s mom here for a couple of weeks (by the way, Happy Birthday, Karen!), and Calvin has had visits from other relatives as well. Here he is with Uncle Ivan:

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We’ve found a couple of products that make our lives easier. My number one favorite thing is his stroller. We got a BOB Revolution stroller  – it was recommended by a friend from work (thanks again, Stuart – you were so right!), and when I test-drove strollers at the various stores I understood why. Now I’m even more convinced. I’ve taken him in the stroller on dirt, sand, grass, the bumpy wooden San Clemente Pier, as well as the standard concrete and asphalt – it does really well on all surfaces and is so easy to maneuver. There’s an infant car seat adapter you can buy that works with several brands of car seat, so you don’t need a separate stroller for the first couple of months. I also bought the diaper bag and the cup holder attachment. The diaper bag is great – good size, not too feminine for dad to carry, and it clips right on to the handlebar of the stroller. The stroller fits easily in the trunk of my car and unfolds in one smooth movement. The only downside is that when you fold it up it doesn’t “lock” so you have to use a strap or something to hold it closed. Still, I consider that a minor quibble. It’s not the cheapest stroller around, but it’s totally worth the money. If you need a stroller, watch for the 20% off coupons at Babies R Us and order one online (they don’t stock them in the stores). You won’t regret it.

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I’m also a big fan of the Snug & Tug Swaddling Blanket. We were swaddling Calvin in receiving blankets when we first brought him home, but now he’s too big and strong and busts out of them. We’ve tried a couple of other options, but this one works the best – it doesn’t ride up over his face when he squirms and if we put it on right he doesn’t get his arms out and wake himself up. We usually only use it at night, and he definitely sleeps longer when he doesn’t wake himself up by flailing his arms around. I found mine at Target, and I recommend it to parents or anyone looking for a shower gift.

407110On a tip from my mother-in-law, I bought a bottle of Shout Advanced Gel. It’s amazing stuff! Works great on all the baby-related stains that we now have in our laundry, but you don’t have to be a parent to appreciate it. It removed a set-in grease stain on one of my t-shirts that had been treated with other stain removers and washed several times without success. I never thought I’d be so excited about a laundry product!

My poor blog is suffering from acute neglect. I have a backlog of stuff I want to post, but haven’t had both time and energy to get caught up. So, until I do, here’s a fun little distraction for ya:

Typealyzer is a site that lets you enter your blog url and will quickly analyze your blog’s content and determine your Meyers Briggs personality type. It’s been awhile since I took the test, but the Typealyzer wasn’t too far off. If you try this on your site, leave me a comment and let me know your results. Here’s what Typealyzer thought of me:

ESFP – The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead – they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation – qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

[via Kevin Drum]

This cracked me up. (Can’t get the video to embed, for some reason).

This is too awesome; a must-see. Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day. And it’s a musical. Beyond that, I’m not even going to describe it. Just go. Watch. Now.

A few months ago I read March by Geraldine Brooks, which tells the story of Mr. March, the largely absent father from Little Women. I thought it was interesting, but I was disappointed by the ending – it was a bit of a sucker punch. Lately I’ve been hearing good things about her latest, People of the Book, so I thought I’d give it a chance. I’m glad I did – I really enjoyed it.

The main character, Hanna Heath, is a rare book conservator who is called in to examine an unusual illuminated manuscript with religious and political significance. As she examines the book, she finds several tiny artifacts and deposits (a wine stain, an insect wing, etc.) that offer clues to its history. The story alternates between Hanna’s experiences as she investigates these clues, and the stories of how the book came to acquire the mysterious items. While Hanna’s research only gives her an inkling of how and where the book may have traveled, the reader gets to meet the various people involved and gets a richly detailed understanding of the history of the manuscript and the people involved in creating, preserving and passing it along. A very enjoyable read.

I’ve been catching up on some items in my Netflix queue, and I recently watched Waitress, a movie from 2007 starring Keri Russell.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. Russell plays a small-town waitress stuck in an unhappy marriage who gets pregnant and then starts an affair. It’s sweet, funny, sad and hopeful all at the same time. It’s a well-acted character film, with some wonderful supporting performances in addition to a very good peformance by Keri Russell. If it has a flaw, it’s that the husband character is such an ass that it’s not believable that she would have ever married him in the first place. However, the rest of the movie is so strong that I wasn’t bothered too much by that detail. And I guarantee that after you watch it you’ll want to rush right out and order some pie!

Think you don’t like documentary films? Think again.

New York Doll tells the story of Arthur “Killer” Kane, bass player for the New York Dolls in the 1970s. It discusses the band’s history and influence, Arthur’s struggle with alcoholism, and his conversion to Mormonism and subsequent life, but the heart and soul of the movie is Arthur’s desire to get together with the band one more time. For a rock doc, it’s quite tender, and Arthur has a surprising innocence for someone who lived the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll life to the fullest.

The King of Kong: a Fistful of Quarters is one of those movies you have to see to believe. It’s the saga of suburbanite Steve Wiebe’s attempt to beat the world record score for Donkey Kong set in 1982 by Billy Mitchell. The vintage arcade game community has its own celebrities and sycophants, and you sometimes have to remind yourself that these are real people. However, it’s a great underdog story and clearly demonstrates how people who takes themselves way too seriously are just inherently funny.

Watch this Clay Shirky video at Making Light – very thought provoking.