& some resuscitation, with introductions

Here's a picture of a cute kid so you don't lynch me for being gone so long. Pitchforks down, people.

Here’s a picture of a cute kid so you don’t lynch me for being gone so long. Pitchforks down, people.

You know what Twain said—reports of my death, blah, blah, blah. Well, I’ve been staying alive over on the Facebook and the Tweeter and even the Instagrams*, so find me there if you’ve been getting splinters in your ass pining away for me** over here.

*I have no idea how to link to this, but my username is andedav, if you want to find me.
**See what I did there? I learned puns while I was away! Still miss me?

All right, so three months away probably deserves a little explanation. Well, first off, I’ve been getting sick more since August than I probably have in the previous decade, mostly because daycare has turned Squatch into a petri dish. Illness doesn’t put me in the best mood for writing.

Second, I picked up an extra lit class this semester, so that’s just another giant stack of papers to grade with less time to do that in. Yeah, I’m using that as an excuse. Sue me.

Third, since my teaching gig is a year-to-year thing with no really good idea what I’ll be doing the following fall, I spent a bunch of time this past fall doing applications to figure out what I’ll be doing next fall. Like a bunch of time. Then I spent just as much time over the couple months after Christmas fretting about those applications to the point where I was probably pre-aneurysm at any given point. Then last month I got accepted to a PhD program for the fall, and I got a GTA* to help pay for it. Hooray! Only now I’ve been spending the month since fretting about getting everything ready to do the school thing again. With a kid this time! Seriously, people, my brain’s been exploding about this stuff.

*Not that I’m super excited to go back to the peasant caste of teaching assistants again, but it means my tuition is covered. Luckily, it was a short fall from temporary instructor.

So my blog kind of deflated over the last few months. Sorry about that, guys. I’d promise to do better in the future, but you and I both know better than to believe me on that. The best I can do is promise to try. You can Yoda me all you want on that—try is the best I got right now.


Anyway, here’s what brought me back: Squatch’s future mother-in-law invited me to pitch in a piece over at Tipsy Lit for their Higher Ed Week. It’s an awesome site that I like to go over and read between panic attacks. If I’m not mistaken, it’s mostly ladies writing over there, and I’m one of the first dudes to make an appearance. Shattering the glass ceiling*, left and right.

*Actually, the glass ceiling is for women, I believe. So would it be the glass floor? In either case, it’s Y-chromosomes doing our part for gender equality.

Tipsy Lit being a bigger deal than my little, underused corner of the internet, I figured some readers might make their way over here. So welcome, Tipsy Litters! As a means of getting you familiarized with what goes on here, allow me to show you some of my faves:

I’ll leave it at that. There’s some more good stuff on here. It’s like boogers on the underside of the couch—just dig around and you’ll find ‘em.

& all the words

This truck was not made to be used this way. It paid the price.

This truck was not made to be used this way. It paid the price.

So tomorrow Squatch is 17 months old*. It’s also Thanksgiving. I’m going to combine these two things into one post. Really, just watch.

*I know it’s not really a big milestone age or whatever, but I haven’t posted in a while and you take what you can get.

In the past couple weeks, Squatch has picked up a bunch of words and is using them pretty regularly now. This is a new development I’m pretty thankful for* because it means I have someone to talk to on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I’m home with him all day. Ok, so not really talk to because our conversations usually consist of him pointing at something and saying a word and me confirming that the word he used is indeed the correct word (or close to it).

*See, there’s the Thanksgiving part.

I’m a little bit too technologically-impaired/lazy/tired/inept/lazy to get a video of him saying all his words. So instead I’ll try to provide a little Squatch-to-English collection of his vocabulary thus far, in roughly chronological order of how he picked them up.

  • happyscream“Woah” = woah*
  • “Wow” = wow*
  • “Ma” = ball (it has since transformed into something like “mall”)
  • “Shoosh” = shoes
  • “Took” = Turk (our cat)**
  • “Shee” = shirt
  • “Car” = car
  • “Tay” = chair
  • “Took” = truck**
  • “Sauce” = socks
  • “Tees” = this***
  • “Fee” = fish
  • “Beep beep” = beep beep
  • “Waba” = robot****

*These two he’s actually been using for quite a while, and it still cracks our asses up anytime he says them.
**The words for “Turk” and “truck” are easily confused and basically the same thing. Context needs to be gleaned from what he’s pointing at.
***”This” is usually used as a question when he’s pointing at something and wants us to say the word for it.
****I’m most proud of this one. It’s an indication that I’m doing this whole parenting thing right. (He learned it from the chain pull in his ceiling light that I let him pull to turn out the light at bedtime.)

You’ll notice that “Mommy” and “Daddy” aren’t on the list. It’s not that he doesn’t know them—it’s that he never says them. At least not to us. Sometimes, when Karli gets home, he’ll run out from his room saying “mamamamamama” over and over again, but we can’t exactly tell if that’s just his default babble or if he actually knows what he’s saying. So I’m not counting them. Not yet.

It’s just the start of a new era, I know, and I’m sure some day when he’s fully become his mother’s son and will talk for the entire car ride from here to Minnesota, I’ll look back at this and regret the excitement I felt over his first few words, hoping for a few minutes of peace.

But not now. It’s been far too quiet around here during the days.

& a little off the top

It’s been a while since I’ve shown up here, so you might not have seen Squatch lately*. After a long period at the beginning where we wondered if he was ever going to get hair, he looked like this:

He's quite a bit bigger than you might've imagined. Then again, he's called "Squatch," so maybe not.

He’s quite a bit bigger than you might’ve imagined. Then again, he’s called “Squatch,” so maybe not.

He’s not exactly high and tight, but as far as I was concerned, his hair looked fine. He could even stand to let it grow some more and I wouldn’t have minded. Karli, on the other hand, had started making grumblings about a haircut a month or so ago.

*Of course, that would change if you became a fan of my Facebook page. Give in. You know you wanna.

I fought it as long as I could. I made my arguments, presented my case, and tried to give his hair a stay of execution. However, it has been made clear to me that when you cut your own hair, your opinions on others’ hairstyles loses almost all currency. Who knew?

This past weekend, she made good on her threats. We headed on down to the place Karli gets her hair cut*, since the lady who does that called dibs on Felix’s first one when the time came. Something I thought wouldn’t be coming till sometime next year, but I’ve been wrong before**.

*Because apparently real people pay other people to cut their hair. Again, who knew?
**See: “blogging, time management in”

"You're gonna do what to my hair now?"

“You’re gonna do what to my hair now?”

TheCutI’d been warned about baby’s first haircut before. People said there was going to be crying. And fighting. Possibly some restraining would need to be involved. And the kid wouldn’t react well, either.

Ba-dum-bum!

We girded ourselves for the screaming, wriggling ball of angry that would undoubtedly come once the scissors came out. Karli sat in the chair with him and was ready to hold tight to him if need be. I got the camera ready for what would surely be some blackmail-worthy photos as he gets older.

And nothin’. FREAKIN’ NOTHIN’! He was good. He wiggled a little bit, but otherwise was about as calm as a 15-month-old kid can be. He skipped his nap, so maybe there wasn’t any fight left in him. Or maybe he was just used to the place since we’d been there with his mom for her haircuts before. Or maybe Andrea (the haircutter lady) was just that good. For whatever reason, it was nothing like what we had prepared ourselves for.

And the finished product?

Tiger Beat, here I come.

Tiger Beat, here I come.

You may now commence saying how much he looks like a little boy instead of a baby. Because holy shit, he looks like a little boy!

Where’d my baby go?

How I Spent my Summer Vacation, Part 2

The Grind

It’s Squatch again. You guys loved me last time, so Daddy let me do another one. He’s sitting on the couch watching the Come-On-Down-Scream-And-Jump Show.

Even when we’re not conducting baby torture experiments in a rented minivan, we’ve been staying pretty busy all summer. Any given day, I have a pretty hectic schedule of playing with my cars, eating big boy foods, playing with my zoo animals, reorganizing the DVDs, and poking the cat. Speaking of big boy foods, WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT HAMBURGERS? I went all this time eating mush when I could’ve been going to town on some meat patties! I thought you had my back, computer people. And ice cream, too! WHAT ELSE ARE YOU HIDING FROM ME?

Zoos are awesome, guys! They even let you ride the animals!

Zoos are awesome, guys! They even let you ride the animals!

Some days I take Mommy and Daddy to the zoo. We’ve been a bunch of times already this summer because it’s been pretty nice out most of the time. When it’s nice out, the animals like to come out and talk to me, and I can talk Gram or Aunt Kellie or my buddy Jack or Grammy to come with me. My favorites are the monkeys and the lions and the bongos. Daddy’s favorite is carrying me everywhere, even when he tells me how heavy I am. I can tell he loves it, which is why I make him do it.

The zoo even has a place where you ride animals on sticks around to music, and I get to go on it every time we go. I got to ride a kangaroo and a penguin and a lion already. Next time I kinda want to try one of the monkeys because they look like they know how to party.

I also get to go to the park and the library a lot. At least, I get to go when Daddy’s not watching the Wear-A-Costume-And-Jump-Up-And-Down Show or the Boring-People-Ask-Lots-Of-Questions Show. I got to go to a baseball game a couple weeks ago, and I watched Daddy play in a hockey game, too. My favorite part was the zamboni. I think baseball could probably use a little more zamboni, if you ask me.

All ready to go. I'm just hoping there's not too much homework.

All ready to go. I’m just hoping there’s not too much homework.

It’s getting toward the end of summer now, which means Daddy has to go back to school. And that means I’m going to school, too. Mommy and Daddy found me a place that they say I’ll like, but I’m going to be the judge of that. I went and looked at the room where I’m supposed to be hanging out, and there’s no zoo animals or cars or kitties to play with. It’s not looking good so far. I’ve yet to search their cabinets to see the status of graham crackers and goldfish, but I’m not holding out hope.

I’ve been working on a plan for the first day. I call it Operation Take Me Back Home. I can’t go into details since Mommy and Daddy will read this when they scrape themselves away from naptime, but I will say it involves a lot of crying and screaming and not letting go of Mommy no matter what. The kinks are still getting worked out, but I think I can get it polished in the next couple weeks. Wish me luck.

One of the big parts of the summer has been me figuring things out, though. Like daycare—I figured out what’s going on there all on my own. Plus, there’s the reason Daddy says he needs more naps:

It’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting a lot better at it. I figure I should be a pro by the time daycare starts so I can follow Mommy back out to the parking lot.

Oops. You weren’t supposed to know that part.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Road Trippin’

Hello Citizens of Daddy’s Computer—Squatch here. I’m just checking in because it’s about time somebody filled you in on what’s going on around here, and since Daddy’s too lazy to do it, here I am. I took the liberty of commandeering his Lappy while he takes a quick nap. Just don’t be too tough on him, computer people. He tries hard.

This summer has been nutso bananas. Of course, the highlight was my birthday party. Any day where the adults watch everything you do and fawn all over it AND GIVE YOU AWESOME THINGS—BEST DAY EVER! I’m thinking about maybe doing it again in September, once the weather cools down a bit. Birthday parties are awesome.

But aside from that, I had plenty of other things to occupy my schedule. A couple weeks after my party, we took off on a trip with Wumpy and Gram. A car trip. Across the states. SOOOO MANY STATES! In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, car trips are a punishment for taking too many naps. So the adults put you in a car for about a bazillion hours to make sure you don’t ever nap again. However, whenever they finally let me out of the car, I made sure we had fun.

Wumpy and me doing the arch dance. Not pictured: massive amounts of diaper sweat.

Wumpy and me doing the arch dance. Not pictured: massive amounts of diaper sweat.

Like the first day, we stopped in St. Louis—a city in the same state where I live. WE DROVE ABOUT 37 HOURS AND HADN’T EVEN LEFT THE STATE YET! But because I’m nothing if not helpful, I put my bitterness aside and we had a fun time.

I’ve you’ve never been to St. Louis in July, I think you need to know that it’s hot. Like that’s-not-pee-in-my-diaper-it’s-sweat hot. And the adults thought it’d be fun to walk everywhere. They obviously didn’t ask for my input. So we walked around America’s boiler room for the afternoon before arriving at the arch.

Now the thing you need to know about Daddy is that he’s a weenie. Don’t get me wrong—I love him almost as much as I love Mommy, but he’s still a weenie. Even before we left Kansas City, he was telling Mommy and Wumpy and Gram and really anyone within the sound of his voice that he wasn’t going up in the arch. But I think the heat must’ve fixed his head, because by the time we got to the place, Daddy decided to stop being a weenie and go on up with us. And I guess that peer-pressured Gram, because she decided to go up, too. Squatch: 2; Adults: 0.

So, when you get inside the arch, you change out of your sweaty diaper and sit around in a big room for a long time. This is to make sure your butt sweat doesn’t disturb the delicate construction. Then you stand in a line and wait some more. Then you stand in another room and wait even longer. Then, after about 6 hours of waiting, they put you in a space egg.

Daddy was a weenie about the egg, too, but he survived.

Daddy was a weenie about the egg, too, but he survived.

When you get out of the egg, you’re in a much smaller room with windows. Outside the windows, they put Little People playsets, but you’re not allowed to touch them because of the windows. Rip off.

I think this is more punishment. But at least it was pretty.

I think this is more punishment. But at least it was pretty.

When the adults decide you’re done watching the toys, you go back in the egg and leave. I don’t know what Daddy was such a weenie about. I think he’s afraid he’d have to clean up the toys like when I play in my room, but since I couldn’t even touch them, I guess he had nothing to worry about. Back in the big room, Wumpy and Gram bought me a cardinal puppet from the arch toy store. Daddy told me that this is a cardinal from St. Louis, not a St. Louis Cardinals because the St. Louis Cardinals suck. I agree.

Daddy says this was Barry Bonds's stick. Then he laughed. I don't get it.

Daddy says this was Barry Bonds’s stick. Then he laughed. I don’t get it.

The next day, we left for another car trip, only this time it was longer. We stopped in Louisville at a place where they make sticks for baseball. Daddy was pretty excited about this one. We watched how they made the sticks, which was silly because I get sticks from outside all the time. But in baseball they use special sticks, which I got one of from Wumpy and Gram. It has my name on it. I showed it to Gordie when I got home, but she didn’t like it as much as I did. She just sat in the corner while I played with it.

The sticks were cool, and so was the rainstorm that happened while we were eating lunch. I thought we were going to get to stay in the pizza place forever, but adults suck, so they made us leave. We drove about another 14 hours and made it to Cincinnati that night.

I should’ve mentioned at the start that the point of this whole trip, besides punishing me, was for Wumpy to reunion with his family. Which I guess is Mommy’s family. Which I guess is my family. Only none of them live in Cincinnati. But I guess they lived around there about a thousand years ago, so it was kind of like a family history trip.

This house was definitely not baby-proofed. Here I am showing Wumpy all the damage I could do.

This house was definitely not baby-proofed. Here I am showing Wumpy all the damage I could do.

We spent the next few days going around to all the old places where they lived a billion years ago. I got to touch a lot of old things and talk to a lot of old people. They were really nice to me. In case you didn’t know, old people love babies. It’s because we share a lot of interests—naps, soft foods, going to bed early, yelling at grown-ups. I managed to get some naps in on a couple of the tours, while on others, I staked my place as the center of attention.

Getting to meet all Wumpy’s family was a lot of fun. And they all loved me, of course. But I must have done something wrong, because after a few days, they stuck me in the car again for the LONGEST CAR RIDE OF ALL. We drove for about 2 years, only stopping once at a park so I could play with sticks—real sticks, not baseball sticks—and another time at a Denny’s so I could get a pancake and sausage. Here’s a tip for you adults: if you’re going to drive for any longer than a month, you’re going to have to stop more than twice. We babies really need to play with toys. And not the stupid toys that you give us in the car seat. Real toys.

Anyway, we finally made it back to my house, and I spent the next three weeks napping. Good naps to get revenge on Mommy and Daddy for making me car trip for that long. I showed them.

Speaking of naps, Daddy is getting up from his, so I better go play with him. I’ll tell you about the rest of my summer later. Till then, you stay classy Computer People.

CoolDude