Archive for June, 2009

7 months later

It gets easier

It gets easier

If anyone’s counting, the boys turned 7 months old today. And, as if on cue, Pablo and Levi have decided from here on out to go it alone. We can handle it pa, their steely gazes clearly signaled, so we adopted a hands-off policy. Little Satch (not pictured) still appreciates a helping hand now and then, and we are only too happy to oblige. 

Now if we can just teach them to MAKE the bottles…

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June 23, 2009 at 11:08 pm 3 comments

Hello faddah…

If I’m to post at all, it will have to be free-writing. Beat-like, as if I’ve been spending my summer reading Ginsberg and sipping suds in St. Germain de Pres. It’s been nothing like that though. Instead I’ve been writing book reviews, participating in a writing seminar (I now know what a polysyndeton is and plan to use one in this blog presently), finishing up a wind quintet that turned out to be an elegy for my recently departed great Aunt Alice, and fertilizing the young minds and tummies of those three wee lads whose photos you seek out in this space. We will finish reading Charlotte’s Web to them tomorrow night (I promised Jen we’d wait till she came back to read the very end, but the arachnid has already kicked it and we grown-ups bawled our eyes out on Friday…or was it only me?), so they’ve been getting Mark Twain all weekend (with occasional support from Goodnight Moon and the far superior Runaway Bunny). 

Enough about me. But wait – it’s father’s day! Or it was until about 52 minutes ago. I woke up late this morning and my boys had already pooped, dressed, eaten, and cooked me an omelette. It was surprising, to say the least. Then the day unfolded as a series of private, fatherly ventures with my boys, singletons each for this day only. I drove Pablo into town and Bjorned him into a local book store where I gifted myself with Larry Tye’s new Satchel Paige biography (Pablo was supportive of the gesture) and Richard Russo’s Straight Man (about an academic who’s an anarchist at heart, sound familiar?). 

Later, I walked, with Levi strapped tightly to my person, into town where I rented a couple of bad baseball movies and bought two milkshakes, one for me, one for the rugrat. The kid’s got a huge heart though, and insisted that his mama, who was locked behind the scenes keeping this day running smoothly, should have the vessel-clogging nectar in his place. My knees are still aching from the lengthy roundtrip constitutional (look at my knees!!) 

Closer to bedtime, Satchmo, that lithesome ball of earnestness and yellow, took me to the supermarket. I shopped and shopped, and though his Shortness was denied the proper allotment of time for his supper, he offered not a whimper. At the checkout line one of the assistants kindly asked if I needed help out to the car. I refused it, resisting the urge to shout out “you think THIS is difficult???”

I am out of steam, friends. Can’t even format some of the fine photos I’ve got clogging up my laptop. Alex and I watched some of the bad baseball movie (Major League, it has NOT aged well), and then she slept and I formatted wind parts for A4 paper. Now that this little business of wind music is dispensed with, I trust I’ll find extra time to spend with you, loyal readers of Sax and Sons.  

I hope you all had a happy father’s day.

June 22, 2009 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

Report: little men gaining in popularity

More and more photos. We had our dear friends Ellie and Anton over today (the first, my long-time mentor and dissertation advisor, the second, my arch nemesis in fantasy baseball (but as sweet an arch nemesis as you could hope to stumble upon)). Together they virtually run all higher musical education in New York City, so we were thrilled they could stop in and bounce our boys around a bit!

Ellie, Anton and the boys

Ellie, Anton and the boys

Wow – the five of them look REALLY good together! We better get a family photo with US in there too, before someone gets the wrong idea…

We fed babies and chatted, and then had some food and set out a-walking. Ellie and Anton had a concert to catch, and Alex and I were craving adventure. 

now I DRIVE the school bus!

now I DRIVE the school bus!

We let Anton take the wheel and he was off and running (blowing red lights, causing pile-ups, a beautiful thing). 

After we parted ways, Alex and I set up shop in Lincoln Park, which apparently has something of a past, but in the present it is quiet and sunny and mostly empty. We managed to capture Pablo in a thoughtful moment:

peace

peace

Since we had already violated every rule of our daily schedule (not really – it’s just that the boys had a lot of mini naps-on-wheels today. Apparently it didn’t wreck them as they’re sleeping soundly tonight) we figured let’s go get ice cream (not pictured)and then hit an art gallery!

We surprised our friends the Whitneys (purveyors of fine art). 

everybody's got one

everybody's got one

And the boys got a smidgeon of culture (of which, you can imagine, they are hopelessly deprived at home). 

Deb and Levi 6-6-09

Deb and Levi

 We always hoped our kid would come out just like Nell (we’re not entirely on course – but at least they’ve finally met!)

Nell and Pabs

Nell and Pabs

Finally, we took a looong walk along the water and up the hill into our neighborhood, where we found Jen and Jalen (Jen’s grandson – hi Courtney!) chilling in the harbor-side playground. Alex and I took turns experimenting with singleton handling: 

Alex and Jalen

Alex and Jalen

my turn

my turn

Our boys were mostly snoozing during this pleasant visit, but the dinner bells in their brains went off soon afterwards, and we were homeward bound. A long, exhausting, lovely day.

June 6, 2009 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Early June Visitors

I’ll start with just a short tale. At 5 today young Satch got up on his soap box and began to preach. He spoke in long, drawn out and slightly feline phrases, mellifluous if atonally so, his voice resonating through the halls of our second story flat. Aroused from my slumber, I stumbled in to adjust the young lad and found him rotated about 170 degrees, with his small fuzzy head pressed gently against the wooden bars at the end of the crib. His escape attempt having gone so horribly awry, it seems, he felt the need to pontificate to his captive audience, and by the time his lumbering father arrived on the scene a hungry and angry mob was forming. I patted heads, promised cigarettes (I lied), inserted binkies, turned on the noisy lamb, and walked back to my warm and waiting bed. Moments after I was neatly repaired to my rightful spot in this world, the ruckus began anew. And then, in the midst of that crescendo of caterwauling, a small – even smaller – voice emerged, like young Jo-Jo in Horton Hears a Who, and said, simply and firmly: meow. Big A and I looked at each other and understood silently, as only married couples can, that this was the funniest moment yet experienced in our young lives. And that, my friends, is my tale. 

Now I’ll regale you with pictures!

in from the left coast - Grandpa Bob and Grandma Barbara

in from the left coast - Grandpa Bob and Grandma Barbara

They make it look easy, don’t they? Mom and Pop are outside the frame fighting over who gets to bottle feed the little yellow man. (No, not really). 

Our triplet gurus came to visit

Our triplet gurus came to visit

These boys owe more than they could possibly imagine to Hilary and Lonny Yarmus. When big Al was still preggers, she had the good fortune to connect with Hilary, who had gone through the same exact thing one year earlier, and had it figured out. Hilary and Lonny helped us with diet, getting the right books, keeping Alex hydrated and off her feet. They visited us in the hospital (where Lonny just so happened to work), and have given us pointers at every step along the way. Just about everything that has gone right for us on this ride – and that’s a LOT – we owe to them. 

the brother from another planet

the brother from another planet

Levi and William Julius Johnson (Judy to his friends), having a little tete-a-tete. 

serious play

serious play

This boy has his eyes on the prize, orange cap or no. 

them's fightin' woids!

them's fightin' woids!

Pablo can try to look tough…but at heart he’s just a teddy bear, and everyone knows it. 

shake your booty!

shake your booty!

Another of papa’s brilliant photo shoot ideas.

June 5, 2009 at 7:37 am 1 comment

Late May visitors

Dave and Satch
David and Satch
Deb gets shorty

Deb gets shorty

 

Jane feeds the mystery man

Jane feeds the mystery man

Alex, Orin and the big men

Alex, Orin and the big men

Mark P: "I'm a serious composer I tell you!"
Mark P: “I’m a serious composer I tell you!” 

 

 Visiting season has arrived!

June 1, 2009 at 8:03 am 4 comments


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