Thursday, May 22, 2008

Playing catch-up

The last real update I posted was back on Mother's Day. A lot has happened since then and I'll try and bring us up to speed quickly.

•Oscar and Melissa were diagnosed with thrush which, we were told, is fairly common. We noticed some small white sores in his mouth and feeding seemed to be difficult/painful for him. They were both prescribed medicines and courses of treatment. Oscar's cleared up pretty quickly, Melissa's is still lingering but we hope it'll go away soon.

•He had his first bath.

•We started to get out and about with Oscar. We're taking walks with him most days. We've gone to the Farmer's market, to my work, to the credit union (we got a new-to-us car!), to baby yoga, Riverfront park, and lots of excursions around the neighborhood.

•We had our first trip up to Portland. Melissa spent the day with our friend Tanya as I drove around and visited with independent booksellers. I was trying to get them to carry the new book (which is out June 17, by the way). I think I met with some success and Oscar did great on the trip.

•Today Oscar took part in his first professional photo shoot. The Statesman Journal (the paper for which Melissa works) is running a story about cloth diapers and Oscar was one of four newsroom babies to take part in the session. About two hours of showing off the little mister followed. I'll post photos of the shoot when I get them.

•Oscar is (we think) smiling now and (we're sure) babbling away. I love the sound of his little voice.

•Oh, and for those keeping score at home: at his last weigh-in, Oscar tipped the scales at 8 lbs, 12 oz!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am still waiting...

Oregon went to the polls today. Let's celebrate with a poem!

I Am Waiting
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
Of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the second coming
And I am waiting
For a religious revival
To sweep thru the state of Arizona
And I am waiting
For the grapes of wrath to stored
And I am waiting
For them to prove
That God is really American
And I am waiting
To see God on television
Piped into church altars
If they can find
The right channel
To tune it in on
And I am waiting
for the last supper to be served again
and a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the great divide to be crossed
and I anxiously waiting
For the secret of eternal life to be discovered
By an obscure practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and TV rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am waiting for retribution
for what America did to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty's clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeting lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New photos

Many, many new photos, mostly of Oscar, up on our flick page.

An update about the last several days more than likely to follow.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Saturday, May 17, 2008


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

This video has been making the rounds on the internet and I'm placing it here mostly so I can find it when I want to. However, if you haven't seen it yet, you should. It's pretty haunting and beautiful in it's way. Muto by the artist Blu.

Box o' goodness!

On Friday, I received a box of comp copies of 100 Girls from Simon and Schuster. I know that I'd already got a couple of copies of the book from them last week, but there's an altogether different feeling to opening a box that is chock-full of a book bearing your name on the cover. Yes.

Armed with these, I will next make some phone calls and go visiting with book buyers at independent bookstores in the area. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Oscar photos

Photos lifted from Grandma's camera are now up on our flickr page.

Weight update: Oscar weighed in at 7 lbs, 11 oz today. I'm hoping he'll break 8 lbs this week.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I think they call this marketing...

Say, do you do the social networking thing? If you do, there are a couple of things you might want to look at. I've created spaces on both myspace and facebook where folks can get all the 100 Girls info they could want.

100 Girls has its own profile on myspace and I've created a group for the book on facebook. If you use either of those services, please check us out.

That is all.

Happy Mother's Day!

Melissa celebrated her first Mother's Day today with me and Oscar and her mom. There were a few gifts and cards and lots of happy tears. Some of those tears may have been because Sue, Melissa's mom is leaving us today after two weeks of caring for all three of us. It's a little scary to think that we now have to handle the Sprout all by ourselves. I think we may be up to the challenge.

Speaking of the Sprout, his weight is up. He now clocks in (can weight clock in?) at 7lbs, 3 oz. We're amazingly happy with his weight gain. We want nothing less than a fat, happy baby. He's also sleeping well at night. We have him in the bassinet in the bedroom with us at night and he does very well. I usually have to stay up with him until about 1 or 2 in the morning -- walking with him, singing to him. This is the time when he's the most fussy. After that, he sleeps right through. Melissa actually has to wake him up to take a feeding in the middle of the night. The fact that he's sleeping so well is an immense relief to us, as you can imagine. We hope it lasts.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The new book

Just so you don't think that this blog will now become Oscar-centric to the exclusion of all else:

Copies of 100 Girls arrived yesterday from Simon and Schuster, and it's a beaut! Very nice presentation, which, actually, preserved a lot of the look of the books I designed. I'm just saying. I also had a great conversation with the books editor at S&S the other day -- Michael del Rosario -- and I'm happy to report that he's a stand up joe. He's very pumped about the book.100 Girls is Simon Pulse's (S&S's teen-targeted division) first graphic novel and they're hoping it will make a big splash.

S&S will also be in San Diego and want Todd and Me to do signings at their booth. Score.

Okay, one Oscar tidbit: We packed Oscar up into the stroller (thanks CB and Barb!) and took him out for his first stroll. He doesn't much ike being restrained, so he cried hard for a few minutes and then passed out. Very exciting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Up all night; Visitors; Weight gain

We had a long, somewhat drawn-out weekend. Sleep deprivation makes all time coalesce into a foggy, timeless NOW. If that makes sense.

Saturday, I went to Free Comic Book Day at Danger Zone and had a nice time. I met quite a few people, sold a few books, and felt guilty for not being with the family. But I think it was good for me. I hover too much. When we have him in the bassinet or the car seat, I can't resist just standing over him and staring. And I sometimes have trouble sleeping (and sleep is so precious right now) because I lay there worried about how Oscar is doing RIGHT THIS MOMENT. We'll get it worked out, I'm sure.

My brother and his family came over on Saturday after FCBD. I felt bad because I spent about an hour with them before I had to go to sleep.

Here are some more vital statistics for Oscar: As of today, he weighs more than his birth weight. 6 lbs, 13 oz and measured 20.25 inches. Everyone, including his very tired parents, are very proud of his growth. It's amazing how much he's changed in his a little over a week. His cheeks are filling out and he's gaining a little Buddha belly.

Speaking of his belly, we think Oscar may have pulled his umbilical stump out. He has a habit of gripping very tightly onto his stomach. This freaks out Melissa and me. Last night we noticed the bloody stump hanging off his belly by a single thread. Ugh. The doctor says this is nothing to worry about.

Over the last few days, we've had a small parade of visitors come by and see our Little Man. Jim, Stephanie, and Vicky visited us in the hospital. Since coming home we've seen Kobi, Bryan, Journey and Dixon Blair; Sarah Evans and Stuart Rue; Angela Yeager; my brother's family; Tanya and Jerry and the kids; Kate Evans; and Murray and Patie (who brought us a beautiful home-made blanket. Everyone coos appropriately over how handsome Oscar is. All of our friends have really good taste.

More photos of these last few days up on our flickr page soon.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Milkman Cometh*

Oscar gained another two ounces today. He was weighed at our latest appointment with the lactation specialist. She had a lot of praise for the routine we're following and for Melissa's technique. Score!

We're gonna continue with the routine of thirty minutes feeding, pumping and feeding the milk we get to Oscar, supplemented with formula. Please note that I say "we" though I am not really expressing any milk. After this weekend, we hope that we'll be able to cut out the formula.

And, big news, Melissa's milk is coming in!

More minutia about Oscar's feeding schedule as events warrant.

*I really, really hate puns, but, man, I couldn't resist.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Free Comic Book Day '08

I'll be signing this Saturday as part of the nation-wide Free Comic Book Day festivities. Here are the details:

Danger Zone
Saturday, May 3, 10-3
1071 Commercial St SE
Salem, OR 97302

I may not be there for the whole event, so if you want to see me, call ahead to make sure I'm there, or come early.

If you're in Salem on Saturday, come by and say "hi."

Days one and two at home

We've had the Sprout home for three days now. The first night was... rough.

Oscar was still not really feeding, and Melissa's milk hadn't come in, and he was obviously hungry. He cried all night long and, my God, it was just heart breaking. Hearing him cry, wail, and even knowing why, but not being able to do anything about it but hold him,rock him, walk with him. My hips hurt the next morning because I'd walked and swayed him so much.

But that morning, this would be Wednesday, we took him to the lactation specialist. She weighed him (down to 6 lbs, 1 oz) and counseled Melissa on feeding techniques. For the most part, Oscar is latching on to Melissa's breast, but there was no milk there for him, which is common. I have to take a moment and shake my fist at evolution. Why is it that at just the moment that mom and child are trying to figure out the whole feeding thing, the body decides it should take a few days for there to actually be milk. And I know that there's colostrum there for the little guy, but it doesn't fill his tummy.

Anyway, the lactation specialist, concerned about his weight and about a yellowish tinge he's taking on due to slight jaundice (also caused by how little he's eating) has us supplementing what he's getting at the breast with an ounce of formula at each feeding. The change has been amazing. We had him weighed at his first wellness visit today and overnight he'd gained two ounces. He's sleeping soundly -- he has to be woken to take a feeding, actually -- and he just seems overall more content. Now that Melissa's milk seems to be coming in, we're hoping to soon be able to cut out the formula.

Also at his appointment today, they tested the level of bilirubin in his blood (the cause of the jaundice) and found it only slightly elevated. The doctor wasn't concerned and believes it'll dissipate as oscar gains weight.

We've settled into a routine here, feeding every three hours. Melissa will rest or sleep as she's able, her mom, Sue and I assisting as we can. Sue and I also take turns sleeping so that someone is always up with Melissa and Oscar. Without talking about, the night shift has fallen to me, but that's fine since I'm a night owl anyway. It's been a God-send, having Sue here with us. I don't know how Melissa and I would have managed without her. Besides spotting me so I can sleep, she's cooked us meals, walked with and comforted Oscar -- basically made it so we can feel sane for the last few days. She'l be with us through the end of next week. I hope we'll be okay after that.

Photos up

The first batch of photos, mostly documenting the labor and first morning of Oscar's life, are now up on our flickr page.