STFD! Slams Door on would-be rivals… AGAIN!

Ask not for whom the baby cries...
Like the onesie? You'll love the diaper!

We might not know what Vanilla Ice’s real name is (and we’re secretly proud of this fact!), we might not know that chicken moves more salmonella annually than hamburger (well… we did know that but we have to overrule Rachel at least once per night even if it costs us points!), we might not know that Whitney Houston was on the cover of 17 Magazine when she was 16 (poorly named magazine!), and we might have used revisionist history to move Tom Brady’s draft pick  from the 6th round to the 5th round (how could so many NFL teams be so stupid for so long?), BUTSTFD still knew plenty of trivia to remain undefeated at The Whistle.

Our thanks go out to The Headers for wimping out! We would have won any way, but we might not have been able to do as many shots before the joker round.

Abby Statistics, Graphs, and Earnings Outlook!

Impressive Height Gains!
Impressive Height Gains!

Here are the latest measurements:

  • Age: 8.7 months
  • Height: 26 inches
  • Height percentile: 11
  • Weight: 14lbs 9ounces
  • Weight percentile: 2
  • Weight for height %: 11
  • Head Circumference: 41.5cm
  • Head Circumference percentile: 3
  • BMI: 15.2
Addition of avocado, peas, and leaves to diet has proven effective!
Addition of avocado, peas, and leaves to diet has proven effective!
Abigail's Average Daily Activity Expenditures.
Abigail's Average Daily Activity Expenditures.
Abigail INC Shareholder Report for Quarter 2, 2009
Abigail INC Shareholder Report for Quarter 2, 2009

As you can see from the chart above, Abigail Inc. continues to see a negative earnings flow, and we anticipate a net loss for the next 72 quarters. Depending upon our ROI on golf and tennis lessons, we might see an improved outlook after the 62nd quarter, but we are conservatively hedging our mainstream, widely-accepted athletics calls with defensive athletics puts on left-handed fencing lessons on odd Saturdays to protect against the threat of college tuition.

This document contains forward-looking statements. Past performance is not an indicator of future gains.

Trivial Victory at The Tin Whistle!

It took us a couple of weeks and three name changes to get it right, but under our new team name and extended roster we are undefeated, unchallenged, undisputed masters of the trivial. Important things we’ve learned so far include: Redd Foxx is not Red Skelton, Dr. Pepper is older than Mr. Coke, Frankfurt is in Kentucky, tooth decay is not contagious, Addison rules the animation department, the Beatles still suck, even though we can spell “mississippi” it’s the wrong answer, brownie bites should be eaten AFTER jello shots, and most important, we’ve learned that Abby WILL eventually fall  asleep in a loud room in an upside down high chair.

Headers? We'll knock your headers right off!
Headers? We'll knock your headers right off!

Abby’s Blog Nominated for Top2B Award!

top2bMr. Hubert Wimberly of Top2B Awards writes, “congratulations, Abigail, on your Top2B nomination. There are over 3 billion blogs out there and yours now has a legitimate chance of being in the top two! Our panel of judges will compile the  final voting results in December and notify you of your final rank for 2009.”

Thanks, Mr. Wimberly! Here’s hoping people vote early, often, and convincingly!

On Flirting

Wednesday is Prince spaghetti night, a common event distinguished by easy dishes, gluttonous portions, and simple thoughts. Nancy invaded my Prince spaghetti night by appearing in my kitchen, holding my 6 month-old daughter in her arms, and delivering me the nightmare kōan: “are babies capable of flirting?” After delivering this incendiary query, she handed back my smiling child and left with my wife to dine and to drink delicious cocktails elsewhere, so that I would have ample time to ponder this riddle in as close to meditative silence as one can get when one lives with a 6 month-old daughter with powerful lungs and a 4 year-old dog who sits in a chair by the window and refuses to allow people to walk by the house without hearing his disapproval.

Merriam-Webster says the following about flirt:

Pronunciation: \ˈflərt\.  Function: verb. Etymology: origin unknown (unknown!? always a bad sign!). Date of origin: 1580.

Flirt is an intransitive verb with the following definitions:

1: to move erratically: to flit.

2a: to behave amorously without serious intent. 2b: to show superficial or casual interest or liking (flirted with the idea) ; also : experiment (a novelist flirting with poetry).

3: to come close to reaching or experiencing something —used with (flirting with disaster) (the temperature flirted with 100°).

You may kiss my hand, peasant.
You may kiss my hand, peasant.

Let’s tackle the easy ones first. Does Abigail “move erratically?” I prefer to describe my daughter’s movements as magical grace, but to the objective observer watching her flip awkwardly from stomach to back and from back to stomach, or to anyone with the luck to see Abby’s “armless” crawl across the bed sheet, it’s probably safe to describe her movements as erratic.

Definition 2a is the one everyone’s waiting for, so let’s hold off on that one for now. It’s better to eliminate the shorter-toothed pack before sneaking up on the alpha wolf.

Does Abigail “show superficial or casual interest or liking (flirted with the idea)”, or does she “experiment (a novelist flirting with poetry)?” Abigail does show casual interest in our plastic neglectacenter playarea (sorry, Lindsey, I know that the term “neglectacenter” is shamelessly stolen from you, but at least you get an inline note! That’s no small consequence when the note appears on a blog of Moorezilla’s stature, weight, and cultural influence!), Abigail does show casual interest in our television (whether it’s on or not), and Abigail does show casual interest in dustbunnies of a particular size and resemblance to actual woodland creatures. Furthermore, Abigail does not merely “experiment” with poetry; she speaks ONLY in poetry. Everything she says rhymes with “ew” or “ooo” or “ahh.” I actually tried to follow her language rules for an entire day once, and let me assure you that it is no small feat. Used in the wrong setting, strict adherence to the baby vernacular and grammar can cost you your job and/or your freedom!

Does Abby ever “come close to reaching or experiencing something,” or does she “flirt… with disaster?” I’m going to have to say, “yes” to this question as well. Our changing table is nosebleed high and precariously narrow, yet Abby, without fail, tries to roll over and off it during each and every diaper change. We have a picture of a cow in Abby’s crib (we believe that animal recognition skills are as, if not more, important than reading skills for children), and Abby repeatedly head butts the cow in the nose. The closest I’ve been to a cow is eating a rare steak, but I imagine that head butting a cow in the nose is at least a cousin of “flirting with disaster.” I will hang a picture of a bull in the crib this week; if she head butts a bull, I think we can safely check this definition completely off.

But what is the intent of the child?
But what is the intent of the child?

So this brings us back to 2a: “to behave amorously without serious intent.” Does my daughter, or more accurately, my nephew, Max, (since he is the real spur for this important investigation) hold the potential to behave amorously without serious intent? Max definitely behaves amorously. I doubt anyone would question his amorousness, so the matter hangs on his seriousness of intent. What does Max actually intend when he behaves amorously and is he really serious about it? Is he always blindly seeking milk, or does he… nay… CAN he on occasion, merely flash a smile or a wink for “intentless” purposes?

I can’t ask him. Even if he would answer me, I find awkward conversations… well.. awkward, and I have to imagine that there’s a chance that he would too. Can I really risk becoming the “weird” uncle while trying to settle someone else’s workplace bet? I don’t think so.

Still… there must be a way to at least ballpark Max’s potential for acting amorously without intent. Remember, I don’t really need to prove that Max is flirting; I only need to prove that Max can flirt. For this, we need to roll out our favorite resident psychiatrist (and coke addict!) Dr. Freud! Let’s see what the crazy cigar smoking cat has to say about baby flirting, shall we?

“From the moment of birth the infant is driven in his amorous actions by the desire for bodily/sexual pleasure, where this is seen by Freud in almost mechanical terms as the desire to release mental energy. Initially, infants gain such release, and derive such pleasure, through the act of sucking or of imitating sucking, and Freud accordingly terms this the ‘oral’ stage of development. Infants will certainly behave in this manner without sexual [that’s serious!] intent (emphasis mine!) on occasion, but the desire for sexual pleasure exists in infants.”

Whoa… that seals it, and that’s a lot more than I wanted to know! If Freud says babies can act amorously with or without serious intent, that’s good enough for me; now that I know, I’m going to start forgetting this as soon as I can. For the record, though, with a score of 3.75 out of 4 on the truthmeter, babies are hereby declared capable of flirting as long as flirting is used as an intransitive verb.

Go get em, Max, you potentially amorous without serious intention son of a gun! Abby, go to your room and stay there until you’re 25.

On the sorry state of solid food so far…

Non! Pas per moi, ma Mere!
Non! Pas per moi, Mere!

A dark day it was when mother’s milk gave way to cursed Enfamil, but the sweetness of the early days softened somewhat the blow of the ill-powdered bottle. I had heard promising stories of the “cereal phase,” so I gamely put up with the foul formula in anticipation of fare more suitable to my discriminating palate.

Imagine my disappointment when “cereal” turned out to be a not too distant cousin of Quikrete, a rice-based paste more suitable as mortar between bricks than as nourishment for a presumably cherished addition to the family. This foul substance offers no snap, no crackle, and certainly no pop; it simply oozes lazily from sandpaper dry to muddy mush, a ladled slop instantly recognizable to your average unfortunate Western tourist who has spent any number of meals in a Turkish penitentiary awaiting trial.

C'est la sog!
C'est la sog! Pppth!

Compounding the problem and intensifying the outrage, I began to notice other denizens of my abode enjoying complex grains of admirable weight, delectable crunch, and robust flavor. Even the primitive, somnolent fur beast consumes with relish a bowl of audibly crunchy, bison flavored grains each morning and afternoon. At least he recognizes my isolation from the pack’s foodstuffs and occasionally licks my face and belches in my direction after finishing off his allotted portion. He is a kind-hearted if admittedly disgusting beast.

One might surmise that I would grow accustomed to shoddy treatment at the hands of the giants, that I would learn to accept my bland diet as a thinly-veiled nutritional penalty for depriving them of sleep, of silence, of dinners out, and of golf. I have not! I will not! This baby rages coolly beneath a smiling, calculating exterior!

Ahhh! The Good Capn is a good choice!
The Good Capn awaits!

By far the worst part is the taunting method with which they carry out their torture. I could almost stomach the outrageous treatment when under the foolish impression that mushed rice was the only cereal conveniently available, but during a recent arm ride through the house I was greeted by the Good Capn smiling out of the partially opened pantry!

It’s not that the tall ones are too lazy or absent-minded to purchase appropriate foodstuffs; they have it and they’re keeping it from me! Their offense is not mere incompetence; it is sadistic treachery on a level unfathomable for first time parents!

I take some consolation in the fact that the Good Capn perches on but the second pantry shelf, a shelf that I will soon be able to reach  as these chubby infant legs learn to support standing upright and bipedal motion. Each day I kick my father harder when he holds me and each day I wave my legs wildly when my mother attempts to dress me, an aggressive training regimen that should pay dividends in the months to come…

Damn! Damn! Damn! I must leave off this ledger for now. It appears that the tall ones have just bought me mushed apples (no doubt for their amusement), and this new outrage will require its own separate entry.

Abby Simpsonized!

Abby Simpsonized!
Abby Simpsonized!

With her rapier-sharp wit, babylicious looks, and undeniable fashion sense, it was only a matter of time before Abigail was tapped out to appear on an upcoming episode of the long-running Simpsons.

Don’t miss her this coming Sunday when she guest stars with that stupid punk baby (sorry! We forgot his name!) that got the e-Trade high-chair account! We can’t give much more of the script away, but we can say that she gets to call him a “spitupapotamus” to his face!

And it’s Abigail by the fur of a hood!

Abigail edges Max at the finish in a thrilling Baby Nascar race!
Abigail edges Max at the finish in a thrilling Baby Nascar race!

If you tuned in early for the Baby Crawl by the Bay races, you witnessed Abigail’s complete dominance of the 5 meter freestyle belly, a race she won by two lengths.

Max proved himself a gamer, however, with a great showing in the 5 meter back crawl — pictured above and no doubt the cover of SI and Baby Racing magazines for March. In this photo finish, you can see that only a late burst by Abigail pushed her across the line for the win.  Is the baby racing field finally leveling?

Gracious in defeat, when interviewed after the race, Max commented, “listen… Abby is the baby we’re all trying to beat out here and it’s an honor just to be here today. She’s been racing since before I was even born, and she made this sport what it is today.”

When asked about the apparent size advantage Max has over her, despite his younger age, Abigail refused to point fingers but added, “I’ve always said that our sport needs to test for performance-enhancing drugs. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but you’ve got to wonder about the size of that dude’s hands. I don’t know. It just seems odd. Look at my hand and then look at his. I’m just saying. I like Max. He’s a good kid and he’s gonna help push this sport to a new audience one day. He might be clean… but in any case someone should really check his diaper.”

Baby Bauble Deconstruction #1

Not the floor; not much better
Not the floor, but not much better.

Many new parents try to keep the floor and their new infant separated by towels, blankets, or reasonably clean newspaper. Having infants on the floor is, ironically enough, comforting to new parents, since one of the recurring nightmares new parents face is the vision of their child falling from any of the myriad of high altitude perches at which children spend their early days (cribs, hopelessly under-reinforced bouncy chairs, countertops, local bars, black jack tables, human arms, etc.).  Cultivating activities that originate and take place on the floor eliminates the worry that a child will arrive at the ground from height with speed, but as anyone who has had an untimely visit from the Department of Social Services will attest, there should really be an expanse of colorful, educational fabric between your child and whatever toxins and unholy essences call your floor home.

We use the cushy, pastel zoological mat pictured here, and at first glance it may appear to be entirely adequate for infant floor exercises. Once you’ve stared at it for a few unbroken hours (or at least the portions of the mat not covered by your motionless child when she refuses to do even one more head up or roll over), you may notice that the artist’s grasp of the animal kingdom is at best vaguely creationist, and at worst frankly dangerous to young, developing minds. It’s clear that whoever manufactured and distributed this “play and learn” mat never spent any time in the African bush and probably never consulted so much as a zoo, a library, or an animal cracker box.

A short list of animal kingdom errors should convince you to choose your mats with better discretion than our early effort documented here.

Ridiculously small child hanging with ridiculously large dog

Tiny baby tires out massive dog.
Tiny baby tires out massive dog.

We’re all about balance, bed time, and “fang” shui these days. Here we see ridiculously large Hogan hanging with ridiculously small Abigail chaperoned by ridiculously small medium-sized Emily.

Perhaps hidden to the casual viewer of this picture is the great chain of exercise. Hogan does absolutely nothing, but as you can see, he is utterly exhausted from watching Emily watching Abigail do little baby pushups during doctor-ordered tummy time.