Sunday, September 26, 2010

White House Baby Speaks

I know it's been a while since I posted, and I still owe the second half of our voyage to our new house. Sorry. It's been a tough couple months, and I just haven't found much time to get to writing, what with all the sleeping, pooping and nursing I have to do. It's an exhausting schedule.

Anyway, this weekend Opa came to visit me. It was pretty exciting to meet him. I mean, aside from having a beard, which I find absolutely fascinating, he also has less hair than I do! Let me tell you, it's a relief to know that there's someone in this family who's losing a lot of heat due to inadequate head covering. Also, I discovered that we have the same head, which was a pretty cool discovery.

Yesterday was too hot to really do much, so we mostly hung out at the house. But today... Today Dad had big plans for us. I guess the guy who introduced Mom and Dad works at the White House now, and Dad wanted to show off. So we went on a tour. I was a little skeptical, to be honest. But I can't really vocalize coherently yet, so off we went. It was me, Mom, Dad, Miles, Opa and Rita. That's Miles' grandma. We took a train. When we got to the White House, we had to go through 2 guard gates. I figured the Secret Service would definitely figure out that something was amiss, but apparently my family is cleaner than I thought. That or they hide it better than I gave them credit for. Once we got inside the first guard gate, my folks' "friend" showed up. Turns out his name is Blake, too. Apparently people named Blake don't get to keep their hair. Who knew? Anyway, off we went for our big tour.

It didn't take long until a Secret Service guard waved for us to stop. "Finally," I thought. I was pretty sure that we'd be surrounded by agents, and my parents would be hauled away. I would miss them, but they just seem very suspicious. And I'd really rather not be raised in a criminal enterprise. Anyway, Dad kept saying, "Keep your eyes open, I think the President is going to walk by."

I heard the Secret Service guy say "Renegade is on the move," but Dad was standing still, so I'm not sure what that's about. But it seemed like they really had noticed us, so I was pretty sure they were making a move. Then a tactical agent came out of some door, and I was sure it was about to go down. But all he did was show my brother the banana clips he was carrying and say something about how many bullets he were in them. No arrests, no standoffs, nothing. Eventually, we got to keep going, but they kept telling us we couldn't go near the Oval Office. They claimed President Obama was in there, but everyone knows when you're president you don't have to work on the weekend.

Well, even if it was a fake out, we couldn't go into the part where the Oval Office is. Instead, we went out to the fancy entrance of the West Wing. Everyone took pictures. What's with the pictures, anyway?

When we walked into the next room, everyone seemed pretty excited. I guess something fancy happens there. I don't know much about it, except that they made me sit on some stupid podium and get my picture taken. I'm not sure why, but it did seem kinda cool. Maybe I'll make a habit out of standing behind podiums. You know, when I can stand.

But then my goofus Dad had to go ruin everything by doing something really geeky. I mean, does it get any geekier than some kind of Superman impersonation featuring a campaign T-shirt? I don't think so.

I was soooo embarrassed. And then, when we walked out, David Plouffe was walking by! I almost died of embarrassment. I mean, there I am, strapped to my goofus Dad, and there's the architect of the biggest presidential campaign in history. Seriously. I almost died. Or maybe I pooped in my diaper. Sometimes it's kinda hard to tell what's going on. I think my Dad might be a stalker, cuz he proceeded to follow David Plouffe up the driveway. Mom said something about "Maybe the president is out and we can see the Oval now," and Dad said, "I don't think he's coming out if Mr. Plouffe is going in." I couldn't believe it. What a stupid thing to say. And then David Plouffe turned around and smiled at us. I almost died. Wait, no, that was spit up. But particularly cheesy spit up. Which is kinda like dying.

Anyway, the rest of the time we just kinda wandered around. The Blake who's not my Opa showed us his office. Then he showed us some sub-basement that my Dad seemed really excited about. Something about a "steam pipe trunk distribution venue." Whatever that means. Before we left, we stopped by the bowling alley. The other Blake says that he heard the president's been practicing. I say you shouldn't try to bowl in a suit and tie.

In the end, it was a pretty cool day, I guess. I pooped where President Obama works, and I think maybe I snuck a little spit up past the towel and onto the carpet. Not that I don't like President Obama. Actually, he seems pretty cool. But considering the extent of my current abilities, I felt that pooping in the West Wing was a pretty fitting option.

Ok, well, see you you next time!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Notes from the Road with special guest author Lila "Travel Baby" Sutton

Well, it's been 5 days on the road now, and I've slept through almost 1/2 of America. I've mostly spent my time eating, napping, and pooping intermittently, but there have been a few highlights that I was awake to experience, as well as several that have been relayed to me from my daddyo or mummsy.

We started off with a short jaunt to Kingman, AZ. Mom had to drive, because Dad spent the whole night before packing and never went to sleep. He tried to stay awake and keep Mom company, but he failed. In Kingman, we stayed in my first Motel 6. We had to stay there because we're traveling with my brother and sister, Yolee (formerly Lola but changed to avoid confusion) and Toby. Motel 6 is the only place they can stay without a fee. Also, it's cheap. That means Dad can save more money to put me in chic diapers.

In the morning, I met my Great Nana, Uncle Wayne and Aunt Wanda, and Nikki. Mom says Nikki is my cousin once removed, but I don't really understand how cousin math works so I'm just gonna call her my cousin.

When we got on the road, we headed for Flagstaff. We got to stay in a house, cuz Dad's old time buddy Sethamarethamascoopamabobbob Sharkey lives there, and we stayed with him. Seth (for short) is cool. He gave Mom and Dad awesome juice and breakfast sandwiches. We hung out with him and his gal Marcy. Well, I mostly slept, but hey, what do you want from me?

Next, it was on to Albuquerque. Between Flagstaff and New Mexico, we stopped so Dad could take pictures of me at a fake teepee and with the world's largest petrified tree. He says someday I'll be grateful for the experience.

Dad says New Mexico is his favorite place in the whole wide world. It smelled nice, anyway. When we got there, I met Uncle John, Aunt Nancy, and the kids, Jade, Kai Noa and India.

It's a little confusing, because Jade says Dad's her big brother, but that's not really true. But he's known her since she was born, so whatever. I'm not very good at relative math, but I think they're not real relatives. They're the kind of relatives you choose, Dad says. I hope we get to see them again soon. Uncle John cooked a mean dinner up for us. Ok, for people with teeth, but you get my point.

That night it was Motel 6 again. The one in Bernalillo is a lot nicer than the one in Kingman. It used to be a Comfort Inn. In the morning, it was off to Santa Fe. That's where Uncle Dennis and Aunt Seie live. They were really nice to me. I'm pretty sure I pooped twice while we were there, and my Dad insisted on taking a bunch of stupid pictures of me in some touristy part of Santa Fe.

In the afternoon, we drove to Amarillo. That was a nice drive. We passed some weird places. Like Cuervo, NM. All the buildings on the South side of I-40 are abandoned. The ones on the North side were mostly trailers, and Dad was pretty sure people lived there although I have my doubts. When we got to Amarillo, there was a big thunderstorm, and I pooped in my pants (unrelated). Amarillo was really humid. I have to say, I'm not so big on humidity. Mom wanted to know why they named it "Yellow." I tried to tell her it was "Amari-low," not "Ama-ree-o," but I don't have control of my vocal chords, so no dice.

That Motel 6 had a laundry room, so Mom washed all my sweaty clothes, and the ones with spit-up and poop on them. It also had pergo floors, which is pretty smart (Mom says so). My brother and sister didn't poo on the floor (that night), but I bet someone else's did. Dad says it's easier to clean pergo than carpet.

Next up, it was Shawnee, Oklahoma. In between, we stopped at the largest cross in the western hemisphere. It's made out of aluminum siding. Dad says nothing shows spiritual devotion like building gigantic crosses out of aluminum siding. There were also a bunch of creepy statues there. Most of them Jesus was getting beat up or forced to carry some really heavy stuff. One of them was of Jesus and an Indian Chief hanging out. I thought it must be a Mormon thing, since Jesus didn't meet any Indians in the bible. But then I remembered that Mormons don't like crosses, so that didn't make sense either. Finally, Dad told me it was a Roman Centurion with a funny hat, not an Indian Chief. I didn't know Romans and Indian Chiefs wore the same hats, but I guess you learn something new every day.

After the big cross thing, we went to a place called a "trading post." Mom wants moccasins, but she can't find any she likes. Dad made me take a bunch of pictures with weird stuff. I think he thinks I'm a prop.

When we got to Shawnee, Dad was all excited because of some old song. Then he got all upset because the internet told him that Woody Guthrie was a down and dirty liar, and Pretty Boy Floyd never did anything worth noting in Shawnee. Dad got pretty sad. I don't really know what any of that means. Motel 6 was full, so we stayed at La Quinta. They make you pay $10 per sibling. Yolee didn't appreciate that, so she pooped on the floor. It was a pretty nice place, but not quite as nice with dog poo on the carpet.

Today, we drove to Middleofnowhere, Arkansas (not your Kansas, Arkansas). That's where Grandad and Bobbi live. Dad says their house is wicked pissah, and it's too bad they live 50 miles from nowhere. But the stars here are amazing. At least, they would be if I wasn't asleep. Dad was pretty impressed with them, though. And today we drove past Troy Aikman's home town, and Mom and Dad stopped 3 times for ice cream and lime-aid at some place called Braum's. They kept talking about how delicious it is, but I don't have teeth or enzymes, as previously discussed, so I was left out of it.

Overall, it's been a pretty cool trip. I get my ass wiped, I sleep as much as I want, and if I cry I get to suck on boobies. Sometimes I get to suck on boobies even when I don't cry. Here are 10 things I've learned about America:

1) In Oklahoma, they put up signs announcing that famous people once lived in a town and inviting you to visit based on that and that alone

2) In Texas and Oklahoma they like to show their devotion to Jesus by building monuments on the side of the interstate. We saw at least 4, plus many billboards

3) All highway-side "Indian Trading Posts" sell the same stuff, really

4) West Texas is friggin humid

5) Mosquitoes are NOT cool

6) Motel 6 has a corporate policy against putting alarm clocks in their rooms (or at least a strangely consistent lack of them in just the Motel 6 locations we've visited)

7) Living in West Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas would be tolerable as long as you lived near a Braum's, because you can get a giant cone full of delicious ice cream for $1.29. At least, that's what Dad says

8) Woody Guthrie is a damn dirty liar, and he is not to be trusted

9) There are petrified trees just sitting next to the highway in Arizona. You could just pull over and take one. Seriously

10) Oklahoma does not do much road maintainance on I-40


-Lila "Travel Baby" Sutton

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup!

It's that magical time, once again.

The first World Cup I remember clearly was in 1998 - I was in Australia, and the games were in France. I honestly don't remember much other than being in the middle of cheering crowds everywhere I went for a month, and drinking hard in victories and defeats I had no stake in. But I could drink in a bar there, which was a good enough reason to get sauced.

In 2002, I had my first experience of closing a bar out, staying through the night, and being there to start drinking when it opened again. The games were in Korea and Japan that year, so they started between 11pm and 6am PT. The night our beloved boys lost to Germany in the semis, I left work at 11pm, went to the bar, watched a game already in progress, stayed through the 3am game and last call, and was drinking Bloody Marys at 6am when the bar reopened. The only thing that sucked was the US losing despite a late game, clear handball by Germany that prevented a tying US goal and also went uncalled. That and going to work again at 10am after the game was over...

In '06, I convinced the owners of the bar I was working at to open for the games. The host country was Germany, so games started between 6am and 2pm. Of course, most of the interesting ones were at 6am. Our biggest crowd was for the big US-Italy game. It was a brutal, grueling affair. And despite being a man down on bad calls, we almost pulled it off. A few moderately questionable calls combined with the seemingly impenetrable Azzuri defense to knock us out in the round of 32 (that and an embarrassing loss to a team I shall not name).

After '06, I made a plan with Sean, aka Seamus, aka Pinkus McGee, to save up and go to the 2010 games together. Sadly, a number of complications prevented this plan from reaching fruition. Even if we'd managed to save the money and keep things on track, I'd be prevented at from traveling halfway around the world at this stage by the impending birth of my daughter, but I still have a little sadness to not be in S. Africa with one of my best friends (Seamus, I'm thinking of you every moment of this).

Which brings us to my final point. Amy works for Madame Toussauds. Yes, they're a British company, and yes, many of their senior managers in the states are British. But this, on an iconic stretch of Americana, hours before one of the biggest games in US international soccer history, is simply unforgiveable.

Therefore, I am mounting a campaign to boycott Madame Toussauds. I hope you will join me.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Fire Drill

When Amy went to the Doc on Thursday for her checkup, they told her she was 2cm dilated and 70-80% effaced. "See ya back in a week... if you make it that long!" A delivery last week would have put her about 2 weeks early, well within the normal window.

On Friday, her contractions were regular enough that I decided to cut out of a major work event 4 days early and come home. The last plane from Phoenix to LAS leaves at 9:15, and the first in the morning is at 6:00am. Didn't seem like it was worth risking, so I changed my flight, bid the team farewell, and headed home.

All day Saturday, contractions were regular, but not strong. On Sunday, they were both. But it seems that the little lady may be a bit of a prankster, because this morning the contractions, while strong, were few and far between.

I guess that's my own karma. A prankster of a daughter, already seeing how much attention she can get with just a little tease. I'm home now, and will be for the duration. I'm just eager to meet this little troublemaker, so she'd better not end up being 2 weeks late and getting here on the 4th of July...