Sunday, April 28, 2013

Two Down, Two To Go

Yesterday began full of promise. We had a laundry list of things to do and, for the first time, it didn't include laundry! Instead we took the guys down to the YMCA to take part in the annual Derby. Apparently in our town the word derby does not follow its traditional definition and instead is an event where people hit baseballs, climb rocks, and listen to a guy singing Jim Croce songs.

Martin's First Ice Cream (Peach Ice Cream from Longford's)

Elliott's First Ice Cream (Peach Ice Cream from Longford's)

Our favorite (and Jen's father's least favorite) ice cream shop, Longford's, was present handing out samples of their peach ice cream. The guys were fortunate enough to have an early first taste of ice cream.

The liked it.

Favorite Food: Still Stroller Straps

Just not quite as much as they liked chewing on the straps on their stroller.

Tarry Market Focaccia with Pasta Salad and Cola

After that we walked on down to Tarry Market to have a late lunch of focaccia and have a cola by Baladin whose beer I have enjoyed in the past. The guys also had their first taste of an extremely oil-heavy focaccia. The verdict: probably too chewy for a pair of guys with only four teeth between them.

Elliott's First Time On Swing

After lunch we headed to the park and Elliott got to swing for the first time. I was a little worried about how this would go but he loved it right off the bat.

Martin Sleeping at Park

Martin fell asleep and missed the first round. After Elliott had had enough swinging we attempted to take a nice picture of him with his mother.

Elliott Makes His Move (Part 1)

Elliott Makes His Move (Part 2)

Elliott Makes His Move (Part 3)

It went about as well as you would expect.

Martin's First Swing

After Martin finally woke up he tried his hand at swinging. He's generally a little more cautious than his brother so I was expecting a little less unconditional acceptance. He took it rather well.

Both of them were fearless on the swings, much to our delight.

Babies and Bongos

They also had some fun smacking the hell out of some bongos hey had at the playground. Before you drum circle nerds write in to correct me, I know, I know. Technically one of them is in the style of a conga and the other is more of a djembe. However, it's just more fun to say bongos.


After our trip Martin's eye was starting to run and we knew that there was little chance he could survive Monday at daycare without being sent home. We decided to make a preemptive strike and we took him to the doctor to get tested. He had a clean bill of health, no pink eye, and we brandished the doctor's letter like a weapon we were prepared to unleash on day care the following morning.

Elliott in Jean Jacket and Nothing Else

While Elliott was in the doctor's office I played with Elliott and noticed a wet feeling. On the down side he'd peed through his diaper, his onesie, his pants, my hoodie, and my t-shirt.

On the upside he got to look super cool in nothing but his jeans jacket like some sort of baby stripper.

Babies' First Shrimp

After feeding them their first dinner we gave them the last of the major allergens for them to try: shellfish.

Elliott's First Shrimp

Martin's First Shrimp

They seemed to like it fine but they weren't blown away. I guess that's good for when they get a little older and let them order off restaurant menus.

Salad with Shrimp, Chicken, Bacon, Peppadew, Avocado, Red Onion, and Fourme D'Ambert

We even got to have a little of the shrimp ourselves on this salad I made with chicken, bacon, peppadews, avocado, red onion, and Fourme d'Ambert blue cheese.

Brooklyn Brewery Silver Anniversary Lager (1988-2013)

Jen was starting to feel pretty crappy around dinner time so I had this bottle of Silver Anniversary Lager from Brooklyn Brewery all by myself. This was an unusual beer. It came in at 9% ABV and just basically tasted like a much more flavorful and intense lager.

Sick Elliott and Mummy

After a long day Elliott didn't really want to go to bed without a heavy dose of Tylenol. Even after the dose he stayed up with his mummy and looked at the magic glowing box until he slowly faded to sleep. Both mother and son were sick and soon sleeping.

Two down, two to go.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Something to Chew On

We continue to move through the large quantities of ice cube-sized bits of pureed food on the freezer by feeding them to the babies one at a time. The large batch we made a month ago is almost at an end. It's perfect timing as they begin to grow their appreciation for foods with a little more body to them.

Chicken with Acorn Squash, Broccoli, and Mozzarella Cheese

On Wednesday I made the guys some of the last of the pureed chicken (moving on to chopped chicken next) with acorn squash, broccoli, and chopped mozzarella cheese for dinner.

After getting a call from day care that they were completely out of formula I had to rush to pick them up a little early and get them home and fed before they both lost their minds.

Super Focused on Eating Dinner

I guess I could have taken my time since they were not exactly focused on eating.

Insane Martin Food Face

Martin, in particular, was more interested in laughing hysterically while holding all the food inside his mouth. I somehow missed the humor in this stunt.

Les Trois Mousquataires Serie Signature Hopfenweisse

After letting them monkey around for a bit I poured myself this Hopfenweisse from Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires, a hoppy version of a wheat beer which was quite refreshing.

Les Trois Mousquataires Serie Signature Hopfenweisse Back Label

My favorite thing about this beer was the level of detail on the back of the bottle. I really wish every beer had stats like this. It would make them more like baseball cards. They should put a dry, crumbly piece of bubblegum in every six-pack too!

Green Flash Brewing Company Grand Cru

Before bed I had something more Abbey-style with this Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Company. I think I picked this one up at least six months ago. Maybe longer. It held up very nice and was an enjoyable dark ale to put a monastic spin on the end of the evening.

Brasseurs du Hameau Le Gobelet Le Patriote Bierre Rousse

Last night, after picking up the babies, I poured this Le Patriote from Le Gobelet, on our recent trip to Quebec. I'm quickly working my way through the Quebec beers and I'm almost done with all the bottles that I do not intend to age. This was a very nice one, and I fear the last from the Le Gobelet private label line. I enjoyed their beers greatly, and it was extra fun drinking them from their stylish glass.

Perhaps the next time I am in Quebec there will be some new ones to try.

Chicken with Peas, Edamame, Ricotta, Multigrain Cereal, Milk, and Mozzarella

Last night I made the guys chicken with edamame, peas, ricotta, multigrain cereal, milk, and mozzarella. This went over a bit better but only, I suspect, because I picked them up at a much earlier hour.


While they ate we had this Explorateur cheese from France which features a cool 1920s style rocket ship on the label. I'd like to say I bought it for the cheese but I'm just a sucker for a Paleofuture-style rocket ship.

Grilled Flank Steak, Baked Potato, Grilled Spring Onions, Bell Peppers, and Salad

I was able to fire up the grill for dinner tonight. Well, I wasn't really able to. It's always a delicate dance each night. Do you put the babies to sleep before you eat? If so you are pretty much guaranteed a peaceful dinner time though a very late one.

Or do you put them to bed after you eat? This means an earlier dinner but a much more chaotic one and potentially a more difficult bedtime for the babies.

We gambled with the latter last night and Elliott made us pay.

Relic Brewing Co. Antiquity

As we had dinner afterward I opened this Antiquity from Relic Brewing in Connecticut, a gift from a co-worker. It was a dark, somewhat tart, ale with very little head and a lot of malty goodness.

Les Petite Rois

The guys gave us a relatively restful night's sleep. We only had to grant admittance to one baby at 4:00 AM, Elliott. Martin actually needed to be woken up to get ready for day care.

The guys don't like getting woken up. They look at you all annoyed, unable to comprehend how they are the last two people on Earth that should give us grief about waking them up. I do hate waking them but when I do it I feel very little regret. I think of it more as an act of pure justice.

What does Piaget say about when babies develop a sense of justice? I can't wait until that day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

#1 Babies, #1 Beer, #1 Procrastinators

Last night I came home with two 4-packs of Heady Topper by The Alchemist in Woodbury, Vermont.

Beer Advocate Top 250 as of  2013-04-23

Currently this is considered the #1 beer in the world according to Beer Advocate. These were purchased for me by a co-worker who happened to be spending some time in the Burlington, VT area and made the unfortunate error of asking me if there was anything in Burlington I wanted her to bring back.

She'll never make that mistake again.

The Alchemist Heady Topper Can

I had no plans to have any last night but I simply couldn't resist. There were explicit instructions to drink it out of the can so I followed instructions against by better judgment.

The result was a very good beer, however, I wasn't sure I'd rank it as #1.

Playful Elliott Up Early

We woke up in the morning to Elliott being playful and jolly in bed with us. We got him a bottle and he fed himself happily while lying on his back and giggling. We didn't think anything of this until we got to talking. We realized that neither of us had any memory of getting him in the night or putting him in bed with us. As far as we can tell he crawled out of the crib, walked into our room, and climbed into our bed all on his own.

Occam's razor would dictate that this is exactly what happened.

Elliott Asleep in Car

When I picked the guys up from day care Elliott was still giggling and happy. Then he let out a one-second shriek of dismay, then went back to being happy again. This happened on and off until I got to a stop light and passed him a toy. That worked for about a minute then it was back to the shrieking. At the next light I tried handing him a pacifier. He greedily grabbed it out of my hand, rotated it to the proper orientation, and stuffed it in his mouth.

He was asleep within five seconds.

The Alchemist Heady Topper in Glass

When we got home I fed them their dinner and had another Heady Topper, this time pouring it into a glass.

I know this goes against the manufacturer's instructions but I found this to be a much more enjoyable experience than out of the can. There's a bunch of mumbo jumbo on the back of the can about hop oils remaining in the can but I think it's a bunch of bull. If you get your hands on this extremely hard to get beer I recommend a glass over the can without hesitation.

Gnocchi with Garlic, Broccoli Rabe, and Parmigiano-Reggiano

To go with the beer I made some gnocchi with broccoli rabe, butter, garlic, olive oil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The bitterness of the rabe went very nicely with that of the beer.

Elliott's First Gnocchi

Martin's First Gnocchi

The wombats also got their first taste of gnocchi and seemed to enjoy it quite thoroughly. Of course they enjoy anything small enough to put into their tiny, greedy little mouths. I just hope to God we are able to keep any small poisonous items away from them long enough until their stupid little baby brains learn what to eat and what not to eat. I suppose it's time to stop procrastinating about baby-proofing our apartment.

Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Routine Visit

We have tried the babies on most of the major allergens so far. So far there have been no allergic reactions. They have successfully eaten milk, wheat, soy, eggs, fish, and tree nuts. As of yesterday only peanuts and shellfish remained.

Peanut Butter Toast

I made them a slice of toast which I spread some peanut butter on and we gave it a shot.

Elliott Eating Peanut Butter Toast

Martin with Peanut Butter Toast

They seemed to enjoy the peanut butter toast as much as they enjoy all other toasts which is to say that they enjoy tearing off pieces of it, mashing it with their gums, and occasionally forgetting they have a squashed piece of it in their grubby hands for a half and hour after they're done eating.

First String Beans

We also gave them their first taste of string beans.

Elliott Eating String Beans

Elliott was lukewarm about string beans.

Martin's Reaction to String Beans

Martin hated them and refused to eat a second bite. This is the face he made after the one bite he had before he felt a deep sense of betrayal with his parents for feeding it to him.

Martin "Liking" Mozzarella

To be fair this is the face he made when he ate mozzarella cheese a few minutes later. In that case he loved the snack. It is very hard to tell from the faces if you have ruined his day or if he's just being a little weirdo.

Elliott and Uncle Chris

Ariana and Martin

Later in the afternoon, after a second failed napping attempt, the guys got a visit from their Uncle Chris and Aunt Ariana. Martin, who has just begun being suspicious of strangers took a little while to stop being worried. Elliott warmed up a little more quickly. It's hard to be too upset about them becoming suspicious of strangers as that is probably a good natural instinct to have.

Ariana and Martin

However, when they are invited into your house by your parents and give you an awesome toy truck and horse-carrier, it is customary to be a little more forthcoming with the smiles.

Uncle Paul with Martin

Martin always warms up to Uncle Paul very quickly. I think it's because they share a similar sense of humor. Here's Martin telling Paul about a particularly comical event from his last Dungeons & Dragons session.

Chris Feeding Wombats

Later we tried to trick Martin into eating string beans by combining it with salmon and avocado, two foods he loves. He was not fooled. He was, however, a little annoyed.

Schneider Weisse Original

Pinkus Organic Hefe-Weizen

Steenbrugge Wit

We also enjoyed a series of wheat beers to try to ring in the grilling season even though it was a high of 50 degrees.

Wombat Story Time with Uncle Paul, Auntie Caolan, and Auntie Ariana

After an action-packed day for the guys they got a very special story time from a selection of appointed aunts and uncles.

Burger Banquet

And after a failed attempt to get them to bed we went ahead and had some various grilled burgers and hot dogs.

Elliott went to sleep with little fuss after that but it took us the next three hours to get Martin to go to sleep. We suspect it was a combination of the excitement and visitors of the day along with that he seems to be teething again. It took a lot of snuggling, rocking, feeding, Tylenol, and a lot of patience but eventually he passed out, likely from sheer exhaustion.

After getting him to bed we had no energy left for anything but to go to bed ourselves. It is always a gamble when we mess with their routine and last night we paid the price.

It should be very interesting when we take them on their first plane trip next month. By interesting I, of course, mean completely terrifying.