Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A few days ago Jen noticed that Max is starting to smile with happiness, not just gas. We've seen it again, but not consistently, so getting photographic evidence has been on par with filming a yeti in the wild. I am pleased to say that we had a breakthrough this morning, and can now bring you a ton of happy Max stuff. The video down below is especially great because 1) he beams many smiles, 2) he coos and almost laughs a few times toward the end, and 3) you can be amused by my goofy baby talk voice, which is at least two octaves higher than what you'd expect to be coming from a grown man. Hooray for Maxes!

Max smiles! Max smiles!
Max smiles! Max smiles!
Max smiles! Max smiles!

Posted by JBB at 7:28 AM 0 comments Labels: ,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Inspired by Susan of the awesome West Coast Crafty, and her gorgeous daughter Pearl, it's Max--and friends--at one month! (Well, almost. Technically it's Max and friends at one month and two days. I was slacking.)


I'm going to try to keep taking shots of Max and his friends weekly, or, more likely, at least monthly.

Posted by jen at 10:36 PM 1 comments Labels:

Max got his first Christmas present -- some squeaky sea creature bath toys. To me this is definitive proof of Santa Claus, because if the presents were just coming from Jen and I, why would we bother wrapping Max's and writing 'from Santa' on it, since he isn't old enough to read or understand it? Clearly the gift must really have come from Santa, who is an all-ages gifter. At least this seems to confirm Rousseau's Theory of Natural Man, i.e. that everybody is born on the nice list, and it is society that makes us naughty.
IMG_0123 IMG_0124

Max also proved that he his real according the the U.S. Postal Service by getting his first mail -- a card from Grandma Alan and Grandma Barbara (aka my parents) -- thanks!
Max's first mail Max's first mail

IMG_0097 Presents under the tree. We were pretty busy this year so only got a small tree. Fun fact -- when you want to buy a small tree at the last minute, how do the tree people make it happen? By selling you a normal-sized tree and cutting it in half.

After we opened presents, we went over to Jen's parents' place to see them and Uncle Charlie and Aunt Sharren and open more presents. My parents live in Annapolis, MD, and we aren't real comfortable making a long trip with Max yet, so we'll be seeing them soon the next time they come up to NYC. Here are some pictures of Max with Jen's family.

Jen's mom Karen with Devil Child Max. To be precise these two were taken the night before Christmas at Charlie & Sharren's house -- they host a regular thing that night each year.
IMG_0102 IMG_0100

Jen's brother chatting with Max:
IMG_0127 IMG_0125

And for your moment of Zen, here is Max clearly enthralled by the greatest holiday gift of them all, Shamwow:

Yes, Shamwow. Don't hate.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Max and Dad playing video games

Who says you can't cuddle your sleeping infant *and* defeat the forces of evil in Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the Xbox 360?

Thanks by the way to the most excellent SwaddleMe from Kiddopotamus. This awesome gizmo makes it easy to swaddle Max with a couple flaps and some velcro. He sleeps in one pretty much every night, and it's the best way by far to calm him down when he's wigging out.

Kiddopotamus swaddlers are good

Posted by JBB at 9:04 PM 1 comments Labels: ,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

  • Name: Max Planck (1858-1947)
  • From: Quantum Theory
  • About: Max Planck was a great physicist recognized as the founder of quantum theory. Quantum theory recognizes that energy is only transmitted in fixed increments, or "quanta," defined by the wavelength of the radiation and a fixed unit known as the Planck constant. This upended classical models of physics that assumed energy flowed continuously (like a stream). Plack's work led to a whole set of Planck units, and paved the way for other achievements like Einstein's theory of relativity and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Ironically, though, Planck initially doubted his own work and that of his colleagues, because the quantum view of the universe was so different from what he had learned and expected. Planck received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918 for his work on quantum theory. He remained in Germany throughout World War I and World War II, and died in 1947. His legacy lives on in the Max Planck Society, among other institutions.
  • Quote: "A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
  • Connection: Jen's great-great(-great?) grandfather was Theodor Escherich, a famous German scientist who discovered the Escherichia coli bacteria (which was named for him after his death). That doesn't have much to do with quantum mechanics, but it is pretty cool, and they were both German scientists so that ought to count. Jonathan doesn't have much standing here, since the worst grade of his academic career came in the 2nd semester of physics his sophomore year of college, when he was distracted by directing a play and discovering the Internet. He barely attended class and thus barely understood electromagnetism. Someday he will finally figure out how to do math with closed-surface integrals, and move on to quantum mechanics from there.
  • Meta: Max Planck's son Erwin was implicated in the plot to kill Hitler and executed in 1945. (Yes, the same plot in Bryan Singer's upcoming Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie.) Nobody needs to see another picture of Tom Cruise so here is Max Planck's son Erwin instead:

Many thanks to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons for historical info and photos.

Posted by JBB at 9:10 PM 0 comments Labels:

Wow, today is Max's one month birthday! Even Max is excited. He celebrated with his favorite meal of milk, milk, and milk, and we took him to his favorite places -- Mom, Dad, and sleepytime.

So what's new since last week? I went back to work, which correlated pretty directly with a reduction in the frequency of my posts. The next two weeks are Christmas and New Year's, though, so there will be plenty to update.

The first week back was a bit rough, though apparently par for the course with a baby. Jen and I worked it out that I did a late booster feeding so Jen can get some uninterrupted sleep in the late evening/early night, and then Jen would take Max overnight so I can get 5 or so hours of sleep before getting up at around 6am to get to work by about 8am. Max wasn't totally into this plan, though -- one night he got up literally every hour, then another night he slept while I was on duty and then was wide awake for two hours straight as soon as I handed him off. But we got by and hopefully as he gets bigger his sleeping will get a bit more regular.

Meanwhile Jen has been doing a great job holding down the fort while I am at work, such as clipping Max's tiny, razor-sharp fingernails. Max even scratched his own face with the little buggers, it's like he was born with bird-like talons.
Jen cutting Max's tiny razor-sharp nails

Max himself is doing great and has been growing like gangbusters. He's already outgrown almost all of his newborn-size clothes and is into a bunch of new 0-3 month stuff, including real honest-to-god Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls! Man, I have fond memories of these things -- really, why don't they make them in adult sizes? Oh, right, they'd make me look like Mr. Green Jeans from Captain Kangaroo. Nevermind. (Then again, I did love Captain Kangaroo as a kid. Hmm...)

Anyway, Max's are still a bit large on him but he'll be overalled up for good soon enough. Here's a photo of them, and a neat holiday onesie from Old Navy:
Holiday baby! Max in overalls!

Max is staying awake and very alert for longer periods of time. He's got much more neck strength now and can hold his head steady for short periods of time. He's been hanging out on a play mat sometimes, and also likes it when I hold him outward so we can walk around the house together and I can show him things. He is also pretty well-behaved in the carseat and stroller, which is nice. This being the gift-buying season, our little consumer has already gone with us to such local landmarks as Frederic Goodman Jewelers, Chef Central, Buy Buy Baby, Garden State Plaza, Best Buy, and Bed Bath and Beyond. At least he doesn't have his own credit card yet.

All in all, the Max republic remains strong. Stay tuned for more.

Jen and Max

Posted by JBB at 6:35 PM 0 comments Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Giant Max will crush tiny Milo
Heh. Messing with perspective is fun.

Posted by JBB at 9:04 PM 0 comments

Sunday, December 14, 2008

  • Name: Maxwell Edison
  • From: Maxwell's Silver Hammer (The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)
  • About: Maxwell is the lead character in this catchy Beatles song about a murderous med student who kills his girlfriend, his teacher, and the judge sentencing him. Very hummable but clearly a real "don't be like this, kids" song. It was written by Paul McCartney and was apparently one of the all-time least favorite songs of the rest of the Beatles.
  • Quote: "The worst session ever was 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer.' It was the worst track we ever had to record. It went on for f***ing weeks. I thought it was mad." -- Ringo Starr in a 2008 interview.
  • Connection: Everyone of our parents' generation who meets Max starts humming this song. It is food for thought when the first thing that comes to someone's mind when they think of your son is a song about a happy serial killer. Oh well, at least we didn't name him Dexter.
  • Meta: Steve Martin sang this song in the egregious 1978 movie Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Apparently this performance is so bad that even YouTube won't post it and all that is available are a few fairly traumatic-looking still images. So instead I will leave you with this clip from Let It Be of Paul teaching the song to the other Beatles. Thanks as always to YouTube:

Posted by JBB at 10:20 PM 0 comments Labels:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Max's dad is a geek

Thanks to my brother Adam for this excellent onesie.

Max is clearly worried, but I don't know if he's concerned about Chrome's CSS compatibility, impatient to get his copy of Rock Band 2, or just anxious to know how Secret Invasion ends. Or maybe he's wondering whether his dad is going to try to indoctrinate him into all this stuff as he gets older, and wishing I would just force him to play sports, like all the other dads.

Anyway, Max is doomed. After looking at this photo, now I really wanna dress him up like Uatu the Watcher for Halloween and have him carry the Marvel Legends Galactus around with him.

Posted by JBB at 11:33 PM 2 comments Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So Max finally got his first real bath today!

Now that his umbilical stump is totally off, it was time to put Paige and Luke's old tub to good use and get this kid clean. Sadly, there are no pictures or videos of him screaming his little head off in the tub, as it was just me (Jonathan being at work and all), and I needed both hands on the slippery lil bugger.

The odd thing? Max loves getting his hair washed. Loves it. The rest of the tubby, not so much. But water on his head? He was ALL over that.

And because I can't not post a picture of the peanut, here's a shot of him in his froggy towel from his last tubby:
Bath 2 with froggy towel

Posted by jen at 9:54 PM 0 comments Labels: , ,

Max has been getting a lot of hiccups over the past week or so. As usual I am happy to convert infant travails into comedy.

On the left: just hanging out. On the right: mid-hiccup.

Monster truck with hiccups Monster truck with hiccups
Monster truck with hiccups Monster truck with hiccups

Also check out the supercool footie pajamas from Aunt Sharren. What more could a baby want than little monsters, big monsters, big trucks, and little monsters in big trucks?
Monster truck with hiccups Monster truck with hiccups

Sharren is extra double-cool because she actually put these PJs into the chandelier/mobile at Jen's baby shower, which you can see here:
Paige and baby at Jen's baby shower
Our special guest stars in this photo are Paige and her + Paul's baby Luke, who has his own excellent blog, Luke the Boy, at You should check it out.

Posted by JBB at 7:12 PM 0 comments Labels:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Max-Bel loses his powers under a red sun

Our upstairs bathroom has a heat lamp in it. We thought it was kind of pointless and kept meaning to have our electrician (the excellent Tosone Electric) take it out. But we have now discovered that the warmth of the heat lamp and the ticking of its timer, combined with running water in the sink and bouncing him back and forth, is one of the few things that can get Max to sleep at night. Because the little creature is not sleeping so hot.

What do you think of when you picture a baby? I always had images in my mind of something cute and asleep, like this:
sleeping on dad Ole!
Which in retrospect reflects an endearing naivete at best. All my friends warned me about the lack-of-sleep problem, but I don't think I quite realized how far it goes. The reality (at least for the past 4 or 5 days) has been Max waking up every 2 hours or so throughout the night, crying for any one of a number of reasons -- sometimes diaper, sometimes crazy hunger even though Jen just fed him for like 45 minutes just a little while before, and sometimes for no obvious reason.

So we end up bouncing him around, patting his butt, using the heat lamp, and eventually getting him to fall asleep. Now putting him *down* to sleep is a whole different matter and is not working so well -- Max is not a self-soother yet. Sometimes we co-sleep, but sometimes even that doesn't work and I end up sitting on the couch, holding him up to my chest talking or singing until the warmth/heartbeat/vocal cord vibrations/whatever put him to sleep in the early early morning. Imagine this kind of thing night after night:
Sleep is good Max cranky in his sleep
Dad needs more sleep
Oops, sorry about that. I've been watching a lot of Venture Brothers on the DVR at 3 AM so that and the crying baby kind of run together after a while.

Anyway, hopefully this will pass soon. Max is a pain, but not nearly as bad as what we've heard about from our friends who have had colicky babies. Maybe he's having a growth spurt; maybe he's annoyed that it's 26 degrees outside and drafty in the house; maybe he's just a a stubborn little cuss like his parents. But I have faith that someday we'll get back to sleepytime Max:
Stars on thars