Monday, July 09, 2007

Long Overdue Update, Part 1

Mikey's 5 months old now, so that means that I've been extremely negligent in my blog updating duties. It seems like Mike grows and changes every day, but we'll hit the highlights.

Part one was our big trip to Indiana and Ohio around Easter. Other than Kristi's parents, none of our relatives and our friends in the midwest still hadn't gotten to meet Michael yet. First was Elkhart, visiting Grandma and Grandpa Cain:

Here he is with Great Grandpa Cormican and cousins Emma and Charlie:

(You can see more pictures at the Miracle Mike link).

Then, it was off to Ft. Wayne to see Grandma Robison, and from there to Akron, Ohio to see his great grandparents (actually, Mikey got to see all his great grandparents this trip). He and Great Grandpa Sloan really hit it off!

From Akron, we went to Sherrodsville, Ohio to visit my dad, and Mikey got to meet not only his Grandpa Robison, but his Great Grandma Robison, his great aunt and uncle and some more cousins.

All in all, it was a lot of driving--but it was a great trip and a lot of fun!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mike at Four Weeks

It's hard to believe that Mikey's been with us nearly a month now. He was four weeks old yesterday. And I've learned a few things in that time:

1) You quickly develop a very cavalier attitude towards bodily fluids of all kinds, but only if they come from your child.

2) Dr. Seuss was a literary genius. Who else gives you social consciousness with rhyme and meter? Just read The Lorax and Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!. Though I'm still trying to find the hidden meaning of The Cat In the Hat.

3) The pacifier is the greatest invention known to parent-kind. The Diaper Genie (1 or 2) comes in a close second.

It's been an eventful month in many ways. Kristi's parents came for a 10 day visit to see their newest grandson, and were a HUGE help. Currently, we're hosting Kristi's friend Sharon, who's visiting all the way from British Columbia, with some other friends from the great midwest coming next week. Below are a video of Mike playing with his favorite toy, a stuffed animal we refer to as "the huckiraffe" because it looks like a combination of a duck, horse and giraffe. And if you turn up the sound, you may discover why Mike has lately acquired the nickname "goat boy."

Here is the link to the latest album in Photobucket: Mike--February. Kristi has an even better page set up on Shutterfly: Miracle Mike. I will post links to both in the links column to the right. Kristi will keep updating the Miracle Mike page, so check back there frequently.

In the meantime, here's the video:

And here's a slideshow:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

In Memoriam--Molly Ivins (And More Mike)

It's impossible to be a progressive in Texas and not love Molly Ivins. Heck, it's impossible to be a progressive in the United States and not love Molly Ivins. Though her folksy style was often lampooned (and not always affectionately), Molly made incisive points with humor and grace.

It was my great fortune to have seen Molly in person once. In the spring of 2005, Al Franken and his then-cohost, Catherine Lanpher, were in town to do a live broadcast of The Al Franken Show at Austin's State Theater to help launch Austin's Air America affiliate. And Molly was one of the guests. What struck me is that she was as natural in person as she seemed to be on the page.

Good-bye Molly. We'll miss you, but we'll always remember you by the wit and wisdom you left behind.

Now, on to happier topics. Mike continues to thrive, and Kristi and I are learning to function on less sleep than we thought possible, and it's totally worth it. And to make the link to the Photobuck album easier to find, I've put a link with my other links on the left-hand side of the screen.

And here is a video of Kristi reading to him. Because it's never too early to read to your kids!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mikey Update

Just a brief note to say that Mike and Kristi came home from the hospital late Friday afternoon. We're all settling in very nicely. Although Mike's fussing a little bit more than he did at the hospital, he's still a quiet baby. As long as he's not hungry, has a messy diaper, or needs to burp.

For the Mike-deprived, more photos have been posted in the Photobucket album (use the link in the previous post). Unfortunately, they aren't in any particular order--one of the drawbacks of Photobucket.

And here's a brief slideshow of pictures, that is is in order:

Friday, January 26, 2007

Michael Matthew Is Here!

Most people never know quite when they're going to go into labor and will have to leave for the hospital; but we found out. After adding up the risk factors for Kristi and Mike, we agreed with our obstetrician to schedule a c-section. Tuesday, January 23 dawned cold and drizzly in Austin, but we braved the weather and traffic to drive to our hospital just after 8 am, knowing that we'd see baby Mike by lunchtime. And we did. Michael Matthew Robison was born at 11:31 am, Central time, at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Everything went very well and mom and baby are recovering nicely. Mike came into the world at 9 pounds, and officially 19" long, though the general concensus was that he was lowballed on the length.

It's hard to believe our miracle boy is here, after those times when it seemed we would never have a baby. But Kristi and I fell in love in an instant. And how could you not fall in love with that sweet face? I have an album with more pictures set up. Check back often--we'll be posting more Baby Mike photos in the coming days and weeks.

Baby Mike

And here's a short video of his first bath, at age 30 minutes. After this initial burst of energy, he's been a quiet little guy!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Question of Experience

(Or...Be Careful Who You Compare Barack Obama To)

(cross-posted at DailyKos)

Experience can be a tricky thing when it comes to presidential candidates. Take this resume, for example: 10 years in the House of Representatives; 8 years in the Senate; 4 years as Secretary of State and stints as ambassador to Great Britain and Russia. And if you like your candidates to have military experience, this guy was one of the first guys to volunteer to serve and protect the homeland from a grave foreign threat.

Sounds great. I might vote for that candidate. And people did vote to put James Buchanan in the White House in 1856, and his presidency was a disaster. He's probably the only U.S. President who can possibly prevent the current occupant from being a lock for worst president ever.

Barack Obama's formation of his exploratory committee has got me thinking about experience and what role it should play in who I ultimately should vote for in the event the Democratic primaries are still competitive by the time Texans vote in 2008.

What got me thinking about this issue today was the radio host Ed Schultz's statement that Obama has the same amount of experience JFK had when he ran for president in 1960. (Eddie, I love ya, but you're talking out of your hat on that one: Kennedy was relatively inexperienced compared to his opponents for the Democratic nomination, and compared to Richard Nixon, but Kennedy had 6 years in the U.S. House and 8 years as a Senator--more political experience than Sen. Obama). I can see the comparison inasmuch as both men have considerable oratorical skill and are both relatively young, but Obama has nowhere near the experience Kennedy had when JFK entered national politics.

Barack Obama is not my first choice for president, but at this point he's probably my second choice by a hair. And as the experience issue continues to be trumpeted over the next year (or longer), it's got me thinking about how much experience really counts in a president. Going strictly by resume, James Buchanan should be ranked as one of our best presidents, Abraham Lincoln one of our worst, not vice-versa. If a brilliant military career counted for anything, Ulysses S. Grant should have been at least as successful as Dwight D. Eisenhower, if not George Washington, rather than a disappointment who presided over one of the most corrupt administrations in history. Teddy Roosevelt should have been a terrible president, as his only elective experience was 2 years as governor of New York prior to his succession to the White House on the death of William McKinley.

Obama's lack of experience is probably the major issue holding me back from being in his camp, but is John Edwards really that much more experienced? After all, Edwards served just a single term in the Senate, his only political experience. I like Bill Richardson's resume, but a resume doesn't always tell the tale, as James Buchanan proves. And while I'd like to think Wes Clark will be at least Eisenhower-grade as a president, there's no telling what would happen.

So there's the question I'd like to kick around: how much should experience count when weighing a potential presidential candidate? How much does it count to you? I'm not fishing for reasons why Barack Obama is better/worse than other candidates in the field, but I'm curious as to what others think about this. Enlighten me, please!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice Storm 2007!

Thankfully, Mike is in no hurry to make his debut, but I was a little concerned when we were iced in for not one...not two...but THREE DAYS!!! We're not used to this kind of weather in Texas, and this was easily the worst winter storm we've seen down here since the one that hit our first winter in Austin, back in 1997.

Here's what it looked like outside...

Here's our Geo, entombed in ice: