Archive for March, 2009

all for me grog

I choose these evening moments, when all the fizzing, kinetic molecules of thought from my brain lay dying on the keyboard, computer OR piano, and the soft breath of my wife next door, and of the three angelic cherubs two doors down, begins to have more sway over me than the promise of earthly accomplishment. I choose them to write to you, I would have said, had not that first sentence veered off course and become ludicrously entangled with itself. 

Gosh. This blog post is going more or less the way this piece I’m composing is – and that is to say, it’s a jumble. I am writing a piece called Eating Babies, using the sounds I recorded late night on January 20, 2009 – a somewhat historic occasion. It’s for trumpet and piano and those sounds, and the amazing thing to me in this process (aside from the very strange way my frazzled brain connects musical matter of late, only hoping that my unconscious, or God even, is seeing to it that this mess of notes and squawks makes any sense at all) is how nostalgic the sounds have become. Do you remember, dear readers, the days of the 8:30, 11:30, 2:30 and 5:30 feeds? In that same span nowadays we have either zero or one feeding, and it is a subdued affair – on the bed, or in the room, in the dark, no talking, an act to preserve the remaining threads of “night sleep” which, once gone, can never be retrieved. I remember those other feedings, magical and mad, with nostalgia and warmth though, not fear, not confusion. Those dead-of-night minutes and hours when all the world lies sleeping except you and the Circus, and you’re juggling bottles and boppies and babies, burping here, pooping there, straining and spitting, singing and swallowing. It is that very lunacy – the pure, outrageous joy of it, as well as the fog-of-war aspect, that I hope to be capturing in this piece that I can only ever begin working on at 10pm or later. 

And hey…I think I’ve just written the program note.

March 29, 2009 at 11:38 pm 4 comments

groggy update

Hi all – a much needed update. Grandpa Bob and Grandma Barbara are here visiting and helping this week. I am on Spring break and trying to be helpful and productive all at once (I am not sleeping much, but it’s entirely not the boys’ fault). The little guys are essentially sleeping through the night every night. The only variance is whether they wake up at 5, 6, or 7 (i.e. whether they sleep for 10, 11 or 12 hours). People tell us this means we’re lucky, but I do not agree. Alex has holed up with Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, the most impenetrable book in the English language, and divined from her meditations the proper path to baby sleep. These boys are scheduled, napping frequently and getting to bed early (7pm), and they are responding just as the book says they will. It is no small effort and Al has been the mastermind (with help and guidance from Jen), and we smile when we’re told we’re lucky, but it ain’t been luck. (It’s true we’re fortunate not to have an entirely collicky baby, though Levi occasionally enjoys playing the role. He’s squeaking as I type this actually, but I know his routine, and I know he’ll settle momentarily). 

I will post more photos tomorrow if I can – my laptop hard drive is completely full and misbehaving, and I can’t mess with this now. But today our boys had a visitor – one Jalen, who came to celebrate the end of RSV season with our brood (it officially ends in April, but the word on the street is it’s been a light year, and we’re gradually opening our arms and our home to the juvenile world). Here he is copping a peek at an unsuspecting Levi. 

check it out

check it out

March 27, 2009 at 12:13 am 5 comments

levity

Mima sponging Satch

Meema sponging Satch

Draining weekend, but so lovely to be with family. We spent much quality time with Omi, and with each other. Need to gather my neurons, and then write something soon. This moment of bliss was earlier tonight.

March 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm 2 comments

photos from an eventful day

Hi friends – another post that’s short on language, long on imagery (and I haven’t heard many complaints about THAT). 

Omi, my 97-year-old beloved grandmother, had a heart event yesterday that was sufficient in scope to motivate Alex and I to load our boylets into the Vanimal and set out driving at 12 midnight. We arrived chez mama S at 5:30 a.m., snuck a nap, and then off to Yale New Haven to see the great woman. She is doing okay, but is day to day. A more substantive post on this soon I hope. 

Afterwards, the Brady Bunch was finally reunited back chez mama – at long last, my big sis and her awesome hubby and three lovely daughters (the latest of which is actually younger than the attacking clones) finally got to meet up with the ones that, in only a couple of short years, will be perpetrating the cruelest imaginable jokes upon them. Here’s some evidence of the day’s juice. 

Alex and Levi deliver some genuine happiness

Alex and Levi deliver some genuine happiness

a little help from our friends

a little help from our friends

meeting of the minds (one of these is NOT like the others!)

meeting of the minds (one of these is NOT like the others!)

Happy

Happy

March 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm 4 comments

quick flashes

Folks I’m straight up and desperate. No time to communicate for real, but spring break is coming. I’m saving the words and loading you up with photos, be grateful!

kitchen bounce

kitchen bounce

James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach

eat them up, yum

eat them up, yum

they call him Tiny

they call him Tiny

kitchen confidential

kitchen confidential

March 17, 2009 at 11:34 pm 2 comments

a brief word from the peanut gallery

What the heck is a peanut gallery anyway? Am I messing up that colloquialism… it makes no sense I tell you. 

Oh, I was saying. Now you know how we Losties felt during the writers’ strike. It’s not that nothing’s been happening, but just that I’m not only back at work, but desperately trying to meet a deadline (that I should have been trying harder to meet all those many days, weeks, and months I was blogging so very furiously). So I’m stealing this little moment, over coffee, trout, and GoLean Crunch, to provide a little update. A happy update. In most recent news, all three of our boys slept from 7:30pm last night, until 5 am this morning. That’s 9.5 hours, or, translated, Sleeping Through The Night. At 5, Pablo was grunting, and Levi had rotated himself 90 degrees in his crib, perhaps an early interpretive dance response to the earth’s journey around the sun. Al and I fed their royal cutenesses together, and for a solid half hour had Pablo and Levi confused. It was my fault. She walked in and I said something like, “this here guy guzzling on my lap, that’s Levi,” when in fact it was not. And if Alex were here to tell the tale she’d say, I knew it was Pablo actually, but she’s off sleeping, and history is written by the victors. Mmm….GoLean Crunch. It’s a guilty occasional pleasure. Anyway. It really wasn’t until I took Tiny (for it turned out to be Tiny) up on the changing table and noticed his blue panda onesie that I realized our mistake. We feed them in the dark at 5am, you see, so blue and green have a tendency to look a like. As do Pablo and Levi. Satch, on the other hand, looks completely different. So much so that Alex called the perinatologist last week and asked “are you absolutely sure he’s identical?” The doctor actually went back over our ultrasounds – and there are many – and then had the nurse call to confirm, 101 percent, that Satch IS indeed a clone. Al and I both agreed yesterday that he will probably become a jockey when he grows up. This after I had a dream that Satch was a jockey, complete with the whole jockey outfit, the horse, everything, except his face was exactly the same as it is now. 

Well, that’s the news. I will post some new photos when I can – the last couple are kind of tough to top. Oh, but check this out. Official weights yesterday: Satch: 11 lbs 12 oz; Pablo 13 lbs 8 oz; Levi 12 lbs 1 oz. The car seats are getting HEAVY.

March 11, 2009 at 6:54 am 5 comments

And in the end…

Just call me Zelig

Just call me Zelig

This marvel of Photoshoppery comes to us courtesy of the industrious Joe Feldman – one of my old old friends and a whiz with the virtual dials and buttons and cuttings and pastings. Hopefully the boys and I will have a good laugh at this in a few years, as we blast this very record throughout the halls of our happy home. 

My paternity leave is over, and I’ll be teaching at 9am tomorrow. It’s nice to get back in the saddle after so long, to be sure, but it’s a terribly long stretch of time to be separated from the team. Happily I still have the privilege of squeaking in a couple of feedings in the evening and late night. Better get my beauty rest. I’ll dream of pitch class sets, Beatles and babies. You can only begin to imagine.

March 4, 2009 at 1:08 am 3 comments

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