June 2009 Archives


Danika keeps her laptop upstairs and having it never that far from reach has proved pretty useful. I started considering getting a netbook to serve a similar purpose. I have been following them for a while, waiting until they include the features I want and waiting for the price of older models to drop. I decided I could wait a bit longer and would put one on this year's xmas list. Well, the other day when I got home from work Danika was doing some admin tasks on her moms new laptop. Her mom had also brought her old laptop (a Dell Latitude C400), which pretty much looked like a netbook to me.

When her mom returned, I asked what her plans were for the old laptop, to which she responded, "Do you want it?". Heck yes! So, I am now the owner of a Dell Latitude C400, which is closer to what I was looking for than any netbook. The specs are pretty close to the current crop of netbooks (1.2 GHz CPU, up to a 1GB of RAM, 1024x768 display resolution), and it was certainly the right price. I also get the added feature of not having to use a track pad. I have an eraser type pointing device (trackpoint) on my other laptop and really prefer it over a track pad (I realize that I may be the only person who does). Now all I have to do is get Fedora installed on it and I will be all set.

Latitude C400


Well, I finally gave in and opened a facebook account. I figured I do not have enough of a web presence, the several sites I maintain, some of which have been around in one form or another since 1994 were not enough and I also need to open a facebook account. Plus, it makes it so much easier to cyber-stalk people. Don't everyone friend me at once!

planetary quilt

Graham's aunt Khya made him this beautiful planetary quilt. I just wanted to share it with all of you and say, "Thanks, aunt Khya!".

Planetary Quilt

Planetary Quilt

healthy baby

Graham has been sleeping through the night, which is great for us, but we were concerned it might not be so great for Graham. We decided to check in with the doctor again to make sure there was nothing wrong with Graham sleeping for such long periods of time. We had an appointment yesterday, and I am happy to say the doctor said everything was fine. Graham is continuing to gain weight (he is up to 8 lb 12 oz) so the doctor said it is fine to let him tell us when he wants to eat and to let him sleep if he wants to sleep. This was especially good news to hear since I went back to work this week and when I start to lack sleep I get cranky, and I don't think my co-workers appreciate it much.

yard work

I had a rather long list of things to do while I was away from work for three weeks. Number one on the list was to get to know Graham (obviously). I didn't expect to get many of them done, but I was hoping to get a few of them done. Also on the list, as mentioned in some of my previous posts was to get some yard work done. I had not paid any attention to the lawn or garden and both had become quite overgrown. I managed to get the lawn cut before I went back to work, but wasn't able to finish the garden. Well, tonight (one day after I had gone back to work) I finally managed to finish the garden. So, I was able to get nearly two things done on my list while I was away from work. Hopefully I will be able to slowly eat away at the other things while continuing to spend most of my time with the family.

cloth diapers redux

Just wanted to post an update on the cloth diapers. We have been using them for about a week now. I have to say, they are way easier to use than I expected. I would even go so far as to say that I think they are easier to use then the disposables we were using. There are a couple more steps involved, but it is much less complicated to get them to fit properly, plus you can experiment with different folds! Perhaps the same genes responsible for my affinity towards origami are responsible for my preference for cloth diapers.


back to work

Well, my three weeks are up and tomorrow I go back to work. I wish I could say I am looking forward to it, but I'm not. It probably doesn't help that as soon as I get back I get a 10% pay cut. While I was out there was an all hands meeting were the execs announced everyone is getting a "temporary" 10% pay cut, but they did not say how long temporary was. In addition to the pay cuts, they are still holding yearly reviews, but this year there will be no pay raises even after the temporary pay cuts have been lifted. I realize with the current state of the economy I should not find this completely unexpected, and normally I would not, but about three months ago we were all told the company was doing great, so great in fact we all got bonuses. Oh well, at least Danika will get a nice fat raise when she gets back.

just the boys

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Danika had a massage yesterday, so Graham and I got to hang out alone for a while. We went for a drive over to his cousin Zoë's house to return her car seat and when we got back home we hung out with the neighbors for a while. All in all we had a pretty good time. Near the end Graham started to get hungry and was very happy to see his mom when she got back.

beer at last!

It only took me just over a week after finally cleaning the kegerator to get on of the beers tapped. I tapped the IPA tonight and I gotta say, it was worth the wait. It turned out great. We changed the hop schedule since the last time we brewed it to try to hop it up a bit, and I think it worked. Much hoppier than last time and overall a really good beer.

bargain baby gear

I cannot believe how much "crap" you have to buy when you have an infant. The amount of stuff marketed to new parents is overwhelming. I am pretty sure most of the stuff did not even exist when I was a baby. Some of it, like car seats, are definitely an improvement, but so much of seems unnecessary. It is quite a struggle to figure out what is important for your child's safety and what is overkill and marketing hype. Luckily we have the internet to help. Danika has done a lot of research and is also on some mom groups.

We had been discussing getting a swing for Graham, mostly it came down to if we really wanted to shell out over $100 and in the end Graham might not even like it. Well, shortly after discussing the swing, there was a post one of the mom groups from a mom who was giving away a swing. It was one of the models Danika's research showed was safe, so Danika emailed the mom and we now have a swing for Graham to try once he is a bit older.

We are using a car seat the Zoë and Sol both used, but now that Adria and Jeremy are expecting another in September, we knew we would need to return it before Graham had outgrown it. This is another item Danika and I discussed. Kids go through many different phases of car seats and there are many different styles each with their own list of pros and cons. They all work for a range of weights and sizes, so we were trying to figure out what would work best for a four month old. We decided we would wait a bit longer to see if the advantages of having the infant car seat would still be useful when we need to return Adria and Jeremy's seat. Well, a few minutes after the swing was posted someone posted the same model car seat we were borrowing (which is a really good seat) for half price. It was new in the box and the owners had ended up with two. Danika emailed that mom and we now also have our very own car seat.

I sure hope we can continue to find second hand gear, since it saves us money but also helps the planet.

not the moon

After having a fussy baby all day again today, I am pretty sure Danika was right and it wasn't the full moon. As I mentioned in the previous post, Graham did sleep all night, and we both agreed that if he continues to sleep most of the night, we don't care how fussy he is during the day.

birthday (cup)cake

Someone (Dan and Lisa) was nice enough to bring a birthday cake for Graham. It was a large cupcake which seems to me to be just the right size. I don't think we'll wait until he is old enough to eat it though. His cake, but I am pretty sure he wants Danika and I to eat it!

B-day (cup)cake

cloth diapers

Seattle is such a great place to live for so many reasons. I was reminded of this yet again when Danika and I started discussing diapers. I wanted to use cloth diapers (mostly for avoid the environmental impact disposables would cause, not to mention not wanting to pay more for getting a bigger garbage can, not to mention cloth diapers are cheaper). Danika was a bit reluctant based on her experience with cloth diapers and her younger siblings. After doing some research she agreed to give it a try since there is no more need for pins and Seattle has two diaper services to choose from. I'm not sure I would have been so pro cloth diapers if I was the one who had to clean them, but since we live in Seattle, we can choose from two services and I was all for it.

We decided to use disposables until Graham's cord fell off. Well, Graham's cord fell off, so we called the service and asked for them to deliver the first bag of diapers. They arrived Monday and today we started using them. It is going to take a bit of training (just like the disposables did, for me at least), -- learning the folds, attaching the "snappies", applying the covers -- but I think they will work out great. Best of all no cleaning, just throw them in the pail (which the service provided) and put the bag out once a week. Each week they pick up the dirty diapers and drop off another bag of clean ones.

Cloth Diapers
Diapers and a cover.

photo pages

We've been getting a lot of requests for more photos of Graham. I am happy to announce that I finally got a site put together to share some of the photos we've taken. Check out graham.litke.info.

full moon?

Graham was fussy almost all day yesterday. He seemed to want to eat non-stop and in between didn't sleep all that much. We finally got him to bed last night and based on his behavior during the day, I didn't think he would last very long before waking up again. I was working on his photo pages and got to bed fairly late and expected that twenty minutes after I went to bed he would wake up. Not so, he pretty much slept all through the night. I am attributing yesterday's fussing to the full moon. Danika thinks it's a growth spurt.

litke family visit

Graham has had a lot of visitors so far, many of them family. We are very fortunate that so many of Danika's family members live locally and have been able to visit and help out. I am happy to say that I recently talked to my older sister, and both my sisters and my niece are going to come out for a visit in July. I am really looking forward to Graham being able to meet some of the Litke family!

electric mower

When we bought our house we decided the size of our lawn did not really warrant anything more than a reel mower. So far it has worked pretty well, the only thing I do not like about it is that if I let the lawn go more than about a week, the grass gets a little long in places and the reel mower does not do a very good job of cutting it. Now that Graham has arrived, I am not sure I will have time every week to cut the grass. I already had to borrow someone else's lawn mower to cut the grass this year. I decided that if I could find an electric mower for $50 or less, it would be a good investment. I have been watching Craig's list for a while now (apparently used electric mowers are a hot item in Seattle) and am happy to say I finally managed to get one -- and for only $35 too! I tried it out on the lawn of the person I bought it from and it seemed to work just fine. It looks to be in pretty good condition, and for $35 I figured I couldn't go wrong. We'll see how it does on our lawn... most likely this week.

northwest hospital

I just wanted to say what a great job all the nurses at Northwest Hospital did. We had a couple of really great nurses (Dawn and Linda) during labor that we plan to send thank-you cards. They were so nice in fact, that today when I got the mail there was a thank-you card from them, thanking us for letting them be a part of the birth. If you live in Seattle and plan to have a baby in a hospital, I fully recommend Northwest Hospital's Childbirth Center.

lazy weekend

Danika, Graham and I had a fairly lazy weekend. We had a few visitors and mostly hung out the house getting to know one another better. We are starting to understand Graham's needs a bit better, so when he cries it is getting easier to figure out why he is crying and what if anything we can do to calm him.

new resident

Graham's social security card came in the mail today. It was a little weird getting the mail and seeing a letter with his full name in the address box. We have received other mail for him, but somehow this seemed to make it more official.

At the Hospital


Graham had an appointment with his pediatrician this morning. Everything went well, in fact, he has gained significant weight since his last visit, which is one of the concerns Danika and I had. He is now up to 8 lbs 4 ozs! He also grew half an inch. It is pretty amazing how fast he is growing. He gained about 10% of his total weight in less then two weeks.

getting more sleep

Graham has been doing better sleeping through the night. In fact, some nights he sleeps so well we have to wake him up to feed him. We have a bit of a routine now. When he wakes up, I burp him and check his diaper. While I am doing that, Danika gets ready to feed him. Then she feeds him and I get to go back to sleep. It is great for me, since I get more sleep out of the deal, but it does make me feel a bit selfish. I have a feeling it will all even out once we start bottle feeding.

a good day

Today was a good day. I feel like I got a lot accomplished. I got my hair cut, I made a fair amount of progress on Graham's photo gallery and this blog, I went for a walk, and I got a plumber over to fix the leak in the pipe. Danika watches a few blogs and recently the Greenwood Mom's blog had a discussion about plumbers. There was one that was highly recommended, Butterfield Plumbing. I called him (Herb Butterfield) to see if he could come over and fix the pipe, and fifty minutes later he was here. He give me a price, I accepted and about forty minutes later the pipe was fixed. He answered all my questions and pretty quickly assessed my level of plumbing knowledge. He didn't talk down, but he also gave a level of information I felt was useful. I would definitely recommend him. Best of all the pipe no longer leaks, and I was able to maintain the house's "construction free zone".

daddy 6, mommy 0

It looks like I am ahead, but it is not necessary a good thing. So far Graham has peed on me six times when I have been changing him. It is getting to the point where I think I will just start counting the times he does not pee on me. Danika has yet to be peed on... I guess we now know who his favorite is, it was only a matter of time.

leaky pipe

I have had two kegs of beer (I homebrew) sitting in my basement since 05.20.2009 (before my son was born) that I have been meaning to put in the kegerator. The only problem is I need to defrost the kegerator and clean the lines that the two empty kegs that are in there were using. Danika's mom was nice enough to stay over tonight and spend time with Danika and Graham so I could finally get the kegerator cleaned out. I was nearly done with everything when I noticed that I was being splashed with water. I looked up to determine the source, thinking something was messed up with the kegerator, and instead was surprised (and quite frustrated) to find that one our our copper hot water pipes is leaking.

The pipe was covered with foam insulation and the water was dripping from the end of the foam insulation, so I pulled it back and wiped the pipe dry to try to find where the water was coming from. There were a number of "ugly" solder joints that I thought one of which would be the culprit, but upon investigation it appears that the leak is coming from a place where it is just clean looking copper pipe. What happens to copper pipe that makes it start leaking? Anyhow, yet another thing on tomorrow's to do list, call a plumber. I am pretty sure it is something I could fix myself, but Danika requested we have someone else do it and keep the house a "construction free zone" for a while longer. At first I disagreed, but now that I have thought about it, it probably is best to have someone else come in and do it even if it is going to cost a bit more. My lack of sleep and over all stress level would not bode well for a "quick" and "effective" repair. Now to find a plumber...

birth stories

Last night we had our baby class reunion. Everyone in the class was invited to come and share their birth stories. There were about a dozen or so couples in the class. Back in Feb/Mar when we were in the class we all shared our desired birth plans. I was surprised at what a wide range there was in such a small sample. Some wanted natural births, some wanted an epidural as soon as possible and most of the plans were somewhere in between.

At the reunion as I listened to all the birth stories I started to realize how well our birth went. Nearly everyone in the class had complications much worse then any of ours and I don't think anyone had the birth they wanted or planned. It sure put some perspective on our birth. We both thought it had gone relatively "normal", but after hearing all these other birth stories it made me start to think ours was abnormal since it went without any major complications. Of all the women in the class I think Danika ended up being the only one who did not do any pain medication during the birth. Once again I was reminded what a strong and determined woman she can be and how lucky Graham and I are to have her.

twin peeing

We are going to our baby class reunion tonight, so we thought we would dress Graham up a little bit. We got him up this morning, changed him and started the day. All was fine until his next diaper change. He decided to pee all over himself, his clothes the wall and changer. It was not entirely unexpected, since babies do that from time to time, this was just the first time he had and gotten everything around him. The last time it happened he just got me, the changing pad and himself. We found him some clean clothes and went about the day again. I just got done changing him a few minutes ago and this time he peed on himself his clothes and the changing table cover and pad. Oh well, I think I am slowly learning that I should keep his junk covered when I am changing him if I want to keep the damages to a minimum. We got another outfit on him, so we'll see if it makes it until the reunion tonight. Now, I need to get back to the laundry, since we are fresh out of clean changing pad covers.